Down time

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gene Smith
  • 460th Contracting Flight
I recently returned from my vacation and my main focus while I had my down time, like many of you, was my family.

As Airmen we have jobs that are demanding and at times requires us to make sacrifices that takes us away from our family to ensure the mission never fails and protect our Nation’s interest. These are the hard times. While the military gives us some really enjoyable moments, like sharing our promotion ceremonies with our loved ones, it can also be a source of frustration. That is why it is so important to take care of our families and lean on them when we need support.

Our greatest asset in any organization is our people and as a leader you need to take care of your Airmen and their family which is the Airmen’s vital support system. All of us who are leaders are entrusted with the responsibility to make sure that our Airmen, and their families, have access to all the resources that they may need to get through the tough times. The base provides support networks like the Airman and Family Readiness Center that specialize in tying Air Force people to resources they require. As a leader, we should encourage our charges with seeking out these assets and getting the most out of them.

As a leader I believe the most important way to take care of Airmen, both military and civilian, is ensuring they take time off and use that down time to enjoy being with family, because they have earned it but more importantly they need it. I cannot give them more pay or a better retirement package, but what I can do is make sure that they are mentally and socially sound by effectively granting them down time to spend with their families. We need to remind each other, that even when work piles up and the pressure mounts, that once the mission is done, to go home to your family.

At the end of the day, the time we have with our families is a precious resources that some of us have taken for granted in the past. Going forward, we all should constantly refresh our commitment to spending time with our families, because an Air Force career is for a limited time but family is forever!