FTAC stays resilient
By Airman 1st Class Bryan Crane, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 21, 2013
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- --
Throughout the Air Force, there has been an increased effort to strengthen Airmen's resiliency. That mission is in full swing at Whiteman Air Force Base, as students have begun receiving comprehensive resiliency training during their First Term Airmen's Course.
The first Whiteman FTAC resiliency class was conducted Feb. 13 and 14. The program is designed to help improve Airmen's well-being, enhance their life balance and strengthen their personal readiness.
Lacie Carmody, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs broadcaster and master resilience trainer, recently attended a two-week-long resiliency course, where she received training on how to provide Airmen with a skill set to help them better prepare for the challenges they may face in their day-to-day lives.
"Our course is based on the Air Force Comprehensive Airman Fitness model, and [composed] of four pillars," said Carmody.
The four pillars are mental, social, physical and spiritual. They are used to teach the students to care, commit, connect, communicate and celebrate.
"The course is designed to make the class feel comfortable in talking about their problems, while learning from each other. We place a strong emphasis on communication," Carmody said.
The program is intended not to just help create more well-rounded Airmen, but also to enhance the working relationships they will form at their first duty station.
"We use a variety of skills to get Airmen discussing problems they face or that may arise on a normal day," Carmody said. "We then get them to think about ways to face these problems head-on, and also methods designed to solve them."
Carmody also said she likes to focus on teaching Airmen how different people having different perspectives, how to avoid jumping to conclusions and the importance of asking questions.
"I personally enjoy teaching Airmen about interpersonal problem-solving," Carmody said. "I feel this is a major problem a lot of individuals have not only in their work places, but in personal relationships, as well. We all tend to jump to conclusions and read each other's minds, when what we need to do is stop and ask questions. This allows us to determine what the problem is, or if there even is a problem, before assuming the absolute worst from someone."
She also stressed the importance of a balanced approach to our thought processes.
"When things go poorly in our lives, we tend to assume the absolute worse, not only of ourselves, but of others as well, while disregarding evidence that suggests we aren't looking at situations effectively. If we balance our thinking, we can improve our decision-making and mentally recover without damaging important social relationships."
The FTAC class enjoyed the course overall and felt it was beneficial to them.
"I feel like I learned a lot from the class," said Airman 1st Class Matthew Roberts, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress systems apprentice. "I can see it benefiting anybody who goes through the course. You can learn a lot about yourself and others. It will allow for better communication in and out of work."
The resiliency course was adapted from the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology program, and is intended to create a positive work environment. The course will now be provided to all Whiteman FTAC classes.