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20th LRS revamps resiliency

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron work together during “range control,” or an obstacle course, at Fort Jackson, S.C., 2018.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron work together during “range control,” or an obstacle course, at Fort Jackson, S.C., 2018. The Airmen completed the course as part of resiliency training which was tailored to highlight physical, mental, social and spiritual fitness. (Courtesy photo)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- As individuals across the Air Force work toward physical, mental, social and spiritual fitness through resiliency training programs, Airmen at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, are doing what they can to ensure the training makes a lasting impact.

For many Airmen, the information is presented as a slideshow by master resiliency trainers or assistants.

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Adair, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron customer support noncommissioned officer in charge and MRT, said, “It’s just slide after slide and then we come up with stories to make it interesting, or use our experience to make it interesting, but that's still not enough.”

Adair and her fellow 20th LRS resiliency trainers added to the traditional plan to make the points more memorable by getting members out of the work environment and participating in activities.

Past events have included escape room challenges, a movie, and “range control,” or an obstacle course, at Fort Jackson, S.C. While designed with fun in mind, each activity serves a purpose.

For example, Senior Airman Jacqueline Headley, 20th LRS equipment journeyman, said “Life is an obstacle course. Jump over one hurdle and keep running.”

Adair said adding this to the typical slides improves the experience and may help others remember what was said down the road when they go through a difficult time.

The events also help 20th LRS Airmen connect with their teammates.

“There’s no such thing as rank or officers versus enlisted (during the events),” said Adair. “It’s everybody working together. … (For example), Headly and I were working on the escape room together. She was locked in one room and I was locked in the other and we had to somehow come together to make it out of that portion of the room. … Everybody thinks differently and it's just interesting to see how a puzzle can get figured out by you doing something for me.”

Feedback received after the trainings has encouraged trainers to continue what they are doing.

“Most people like it because it’s hands on and we get to work together as a team,” said Headley. “It also boosts morale when we do activities like this. People have a reason to come to work and be happier.”

To keep everyone involved, a newsletter with resiliency tips is also distributed to 20th LRS Airmen, including those who are deployed.

For those interested in changing up their programs, Adair said to think outside the box and ask Airmen what they wanted to do or find interesting.

“There were certain things that happened in my life that if I didn't have the resiliency tools, I could have tanked my entire career,” said Adair. “I was able to use those tools and bring myself out of the bad situation that could have happened in my life if I let my personal life take over. … I think service members need to be resilient to better themselves. You can ruin your career and friendships fast if you aren’t resilient at all.”