AFMC promotes social fitness through spring Wingman Day

  • Published
  • By Diane L. Warha
  • Air Force Materiel Command Health & Wellness Team
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wingman Day remains a tradition in the Air Force community and supports a culture of caring and commitment to each and every Airman. It reinforces the Air Force wingman concept as the foundation to build resilient Airmen. On Wingmen Day and every day, we encourage you to pause, appreciate each other, and focus on unit wellness. During Spring Wingman Day activities, our topic focuses on social fitness and the importance of positive connections in our everyday exchange with family and those in the workplace.

Social fitness is defined as the ability to engage in healthy social connections and social networks to promote overall well-being and optimal performance. Social connections include the following: our behavior toward each other, mutual benefits from our relationships, and building positive relationships to increase our resiliency. The connections we build and the bonds we make increase our resilience to withstand everyday pressures and accomplish the mission.

Three strategies to strengthen social fitness include the following: a clear sense of mission and purpose, development of healthy communication skills, and choosing to act on what you know and feel with respect. Mission and purpose asks us to examine what role we play in our families, in our jobs, and in the world. Reflecting on who we are contributes to a strong sense of self and helps clarify where we fit-in. Developing healthy communication skills asks us to note that effective and positive communication between people aids in social fitness and may reduce stress levels. Making positive behavioral choices may advance an objective or goal and influence our social environment. When problems arise, look at issues with curiosity and an open mind, because challenges are not always threats and may actually be an opportunity for change.

Social fitness begins with you. Social connections are a personal choice to build healthy relationships through deliberate action to connect with others. Opportunities to engage in social activities are wide spread. Programs are offered through the Airman and Family Readiness Center, fitness programs, sport leagues, and in the faith-based community.

When we are aware of the benefits of social fitness we understand the importance of: mission and purpose, effective communication, social support, and connectedness. These concepts are the key message of Comprehensive Airman Fitness, or CAF, which promote a holistic approach to taking care of people. On Wingman Day and throughout the year we continue to highlight the importance of situational awareness, accountability, team building, and mutual support. As Wingmen we strive to stay alert, be involved, take action, and maintain a culture of respect and resiliency.

The importance of recognizing that we are all unique, we all belong, and we all make a difference every day remains vital to making positive social connections. Respect yourself and others to create a culture of caring in the Air Force and in our communities. Social fitness begins with you.