Top AF officials meet with Airmen to discuss ‘caring for people’: Malmstrom Airman chosen to represent AFGSC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kristina Overton
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
One of Malmstrom's own joined three other single Airmen representatives for the 2010 Caring for People Forum in Arlington, Va. Senior Airman Lakendra Peacock, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, attended the forum April 19 through 21 as the Air Force Global Strike Command representative.

"I was really honored to have the opportunity to represent Malmstrom and all the Airmen in our major command," said Airman Peacock. "I enjoyed working with the people and being able to see the varied styles of leadership. It was reassuring knowing that it was more than just my opinion, but a shared view amongst other single Airmen who feel the same way I do about improving certain issues."

The forum focused on forming initiatives to improve issues affecting the lives of Airmen and their families. As a part of the single Airmen working group, Airmen Peacock helped discuss and create initiatives and solutions to issues involving social and recreational problems, technology and communication issues and Airmen development.

"In the group, we just came up with ideas on how we felt single Airmen should be treated," Airman Peacock said. "We discussed typical things that affect everyday Airmen and improvements that could be made to make their lives better involving topics such as housing, deployment, food and service issues, and social networking."

Other discussions included unit cohesion and morale; informational websites for parents; common access to centralized information; targeting new generation audiences; suicide prevention; mentor and wingman programs; and 'whole person' training to assist Airmen living on their own.

Air Force leaders in attendance included the secretary of the Air Force, chief and vice chief of staff of the Air Force, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force and the deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel.

The importance of the forum and creating the initiatives was summarized in the remarks of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.

"It's important to focus on what the word 'care' really means because it is much more than sentiment, it involves action," said Secretary Donley. "Concern for people is certainly positive but concern only becomes meaningful when action is taken. To ensure we are doing all that we can for Airmen and their families, we need to build a resilient force through multiple avenues of approach."

The initiatives of each of the groups were presented by members to the senior leaders at the conclusion of the conference.

"The forum was definitely a learning experience," Airman Peacock said. "One thing I took from it was the definition of family and what that sense of community means to the Air Force. For me, it goes beyond the friendships we make on installations, but it includes the relationships that we maintain with our co-workers and supervisors. When things happen, a death in the family or stress at work, you rely on them and are able to depend on them to get you through it. It kind of puts family in a new perspective."