By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
As the first sergeant with the 50th Security Forces Squadron, Master Sergeant Erin French may have seen the most common issues affecting Airmen.
Financial, professional, personal or relationship issues are some of the problems that first sergeants help Airmen tackle on a regular basis. This ability to provide assistance may prove helpful to French as she serves as one of Schriever’s four master resilience trainers.
“The vacancy came open for someone to attend, and we realized having a first sergeant as a master resilience trainer could be beneficial because of the type of situations we are already helping individuals work through and resolve,” French said. “Why not have a first sergeant who is already working in a resilience capacity and helping people resolve their issues be a resilience trainer?”
Master resilience trainers are an integral element to provide trained and certified members as installation experts for Comprehensive Airmen Fitness. The trainers will provide awareness education and skill development techniques for Airmen and their families to enhance individual resilience across the four pillars of CAF: mental, physical, social and spiritual.
“A lot of our programs are set up to be reactive,” French said. “If you look at some of our helping agencies — often they are structured to pick up the pieces after something has gone wrong in a person’s life. The point of the resiliency training is to give you the skills in advance to work through the challenges we face.”
French recently attended the master resilience trainer train-the-trainer course at the Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. With this training, she will be able to provide train-the-trainer courses for base resilience training assistants, who will assist in providing resiliency training for Team Schriever.
“Once we have more [trainers] on Schriever AFB, we will be training resilience training assistants (RTA),” French said. “RTAs will be able to share the responsibility of providing resilience skills training at the unit level [sessions].”
Air Force guidance mandates that First Term Airmen Centers are required to include eight consecutive hours of resilience training given by the trained master resilience trainer at the base. In the near future, MRTs and RTAs will provide resilience training during Wingman Day events, commander’s calls, roll calls, professional organizations, meetings or other unit functions. The training consists of teaching resiliency skills to reinforce and strengthen members’ four pillars.
“Rather than jumping in when it’s too late, and be reactive, we have to give people an opportunity to be a little bit more proactive and provide them with skills to make that possible,” she said. “This training is tailored for everyone. This is going to strengthen our Airmen.”
Chief Master Sgt. Gary Sharp, 50th Mission Support Group superintendent and acting 50th Space Wing command chief, said the training is beneficial because the Air Force is asking more of its Airmen than ever before.
“We need to ensure they are mentally, socially and spiritually capable to meet these challenges,” Sharp said. “Master resiliency training provides our Airmen with the tools to better cope and rebound from those issues before they occur to enable them to maintain their readiness.”
Additionally, the training is designed to get individuals to reinforce themselves and work through their problems.
“We need our Airmen to be able to adapt and overcome the various obstacles they may encounter in their personal and professional lives,” Sharp said. “By better equipping them to manage these issues, we are ultimately improving their quality of life and their ability to effectively perform their duties.”