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Commander's Comments, April 2019

Battle Creek Air National Guard --

Team Battle Creek,

Welcome to the April RSD! Spring is here and I hope everyone was able to take some time for spring break.  I know many of you are interested in the timeline for the Wing change of command. As of early April, we have scheduled the Wing change of command for Sat, 8 June @ 1500. I expect a formal announcement of the next 110th Wing Commander sometime between the April and May RSD’s.

As I continue to reflect on my time as a member of the 110th, the one area that really stands out is our service and family mindset. As I’m sure you would agree, we are not the perfect family, and we have some dysfunction just like any normal family. At the end of the day, our friendship, loyalty, and dedication to each other is what makes the 110th a special place.

We should feel blessed and thankful that we are part of an organization where we have a connection that extends beyond the main gate. I mention this because the Air Force and Air National Guard are experiencing losses of our members due to suicide at an alarming rate. In the first three months of 2019, the Air National Guard has lost five members of our family to suicide.

We need to be aware that there are members of the 110th Wing and our Guard family who are struggling with the many challenges of life. We all need to look to the Airman on our right and left, and confirm that they are resilient and able to confront their challenges. We must care enough to act swiftly and compassionately if we think they are not.

If you believe one of your fellow service members may be at risk for suicide, ACT IMMEDIATELY. Personally intervene in their life. Involve your chain of command, the Wing DPH, the Chaplain staff, and the various resources available to support those who are at risk. Follow through and follow up to ensure the actions you have initiated are effective.

We speak to our wingman culture quite often. I think sometimes the real purpose of being a wingman is lost in translation. In my opinion, the central idea is that a wingman is someone who looks out for you, especially in tough times. A wingman may see things from a different lens or perspective. This is extremely valuable as the wingman, from a different perspective, is able to spot danger and therefore can help his or her team member. The wingman concept is totally separate from the chain of command. Wingman simply help each other out, regardless of position or rank. A wingman helps his or her team members stay positive and optimistic. A wingman helps a team member to understand their value and potential for success. Being a wingman means to be a good listener, a voice of reason, an advocate, and a team partner.

Let’s continue to take care of each other and have a great RSD.

My best to you and your family!

Colonel Bryan Teff