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Team Kadena pauses operations to recharge, assist each other

  • Published
  • By 18th Wing Public Affairs
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

On Sept. 9th, the 18th Wing held its Resilience Tactical Pause focused on reinforcing a resilient culture, breaking down barriers to help-seeking and getting feedback from Airmen. The day began with a Commander’s Call led by Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, 18th Wing commander, with guest speaker, Chief Master Sgt. John Chacon, 18th Civil Engineer operations flight superintendent, followed by time spent with each Airman’s respective squadron.

“We wanted to take some time and focus on something near and dear to my heart... all of you,” said Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, 18th Wing commander. “Many of us in this room have known someone who has decided to take their own life.”

Commanders across the wing followed Carey’s lead and spent the day engaged with their teams in order to improve unit connectedness and enhance a climate that fosters resilience while promoting help-seeking behaviors when necessary.

Chacon shared his personal story and how he overcame the stressors he faced.

“My message to Airmen would be if you have a choice to be a Warrior or a worrier… Always choose the WARRIOR! Being a ‘Warrior’ is a mindset. After telling my story, I get asked if I would do it all over again; my answer is simply, YES! I have no regrets, however I want all Airmen to do it better than I have,” said Chacon. “Do things smarter, faster and stronger, and get help sooner.”

The Resilience Tactical Pause is the start of an ongoing dialogue between members of the 18th Wing to increase the well-being of every Airman. The collected feedback will drive changes to programs if necessary, as well as create more effective ways to empower leaders at the lowest level.

 “Every one of us is effected by something like money, friends, family, health, or even career,” said Carey.  “I’m effected by those things as well, so how do we cope? How do we handle those situations? How do we bounce back and grow stronger from those circumstances in our lives? Today, we’re going to figure that out together.”

Following Carey’s charge, squadrons broke out into small groups for Airmen to discuss some of the stressors they face day-to-day and worked together to brainstorm solutions.

“Warriors started off as worriers, but we become stronger when get help. Be great wingmen and take care of each other, this goes for our family and our military family,” said Chacon.