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News > Commentary - Civilian wellness is a priority
Civilian wellness is a priority

Posted 10/7/2010   Updated 10/7/2010 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Lt. Gen. Ted F. Bowlds
Electronic Systems Center commander

10/7/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- The health and wellness of the predominantly civilian Air Force Materiel Command workforce is one of Gen. Donald Hoffman's highest priorities, one he committed to when he became the commander of Air Force Materiel Command -- and one I, as Electronic Systems Center commander, wholeheartedly embrace.

Even though numerous programs and services are available to civilians, more people could be taking advantage of them. Earlier this year, AFMC commissioned a study by a respected non-profit research organization, the RAND Corporation, to assess the well-being of civilian employees at representative AFMC bases. Preliminary findings were briefed at the AFMC Senior Leaders Conference I attended in August. The other center and air base wing commanders and I learned that too many Air Force civilians are unaware of the health and wellness programs and services available to help them, especially in times of personal crisis.

I'm convinced that our hectic work pace often presents another barrier. I know how busy you are, and I'm very proud of the efforts each of you makes day after day in support of our ESC missions. However, I want to stress that, while mission accomplishment is extremely important, nothing is more important than taking time to focus on our health and our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Our goal is to help overcome the obstacles that keep us from doing so and to make sure everyone gets the help and support they need.

Most people are conscientious about doing a good job every day despite the challenges they face both on and off the job. Furthermore, I know the stress of work compounded with other difficulties can sometimes push people to the edge. If you or your coworkers are experiencing emotional, mental or spiritual distress of some sort, help is available.

Here you will find a directory of support agencies, both on- and off-base, that can help Air Force civilian employees with personal, family or work-stress issues. I urge you to use these resources. They are there for you.

Please remember that we all face challenges and we don't have to face them alone.

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