Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Commander’s call at Peterson AFB addresses suicide, abuse and discrimination prevention

By Audrey Jensen

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Col. Todd Moore, 21st Space Wing commander hosted a commander’s call at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, in the morning and again in afternoon at the base auditorium, March 22, 2018.

While going through his presentation, Moore spoke on suicide prevention and results from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Organizational Climate Survey, also known as DEOCS. Moore took different questions from Airmen toward the end of his presentation.

The second leading cause of death among people ages 25 to 34, as stated in the all call presentation, is suicide. It’s also the third leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24.

Moore recognized the efforts of noncommissioned officers on base to step in and help Airmen in need.

“You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, the readiness and willingness and aggressiveness of NCOs to step into the gap on multiple occasions over the last nine months has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Moore.

In addition to the email Moore sent to Airmen with resources and phone numbers available to help with mental resiliency, he offered himself as a resource.

“I am as serious as a heart attack. I am immediately available to any and everyone in this wing if you’re in a crisis,” Moore said. “It’s as simple as getting in touch with the Command Post. They can plug me in. I would much rather violate every last vestige of protocol in order to save a life. Hopefully you know I am crystal clear and completely sincere.”

Results from the survey taken by about one-third of Airmen on Peterson AFB addressed positive feedback and concerns in addition to questions regarding abuse, discrimination and assault. Moore read answers out loud and displayed results from the survey for Airmen to see.

“’I am burning out in this job. I have more work than I can imagine for one person,’” read one of the comments from the survey.

“I cannot have people in this wing burning out,” Moore said. “You need to communicate with your leadership.”

Moore continued on to read positive and negative feedback from Airmen out loud.

“What I need is to be able to communicate this with your squadron commanders, squadron supervisors and first sergeants, but I would also go on to say there’s an immense responsibility on every person in the squadron to make it just one notch better.”

“If you’re waiting on me as the wing commander to fix every problem, you’ll be waiting a long time. Same with your squadron commanders. Everybody has a role to lift just a little bit, even in the worst circumstance.”

Though some results from the survey were positive regarding inclusion and discrimination, Moore said he would like to see this continue to improve.

“We are teammates, we are wingmen. We’ve got to be willing to help each other. The one thing I have learned as an instructor is that leadership is really about teaching and helping people solve their problems and helping people figure out how to get their job done better.”

“You are not better Airmen, you are not better citizens, you are not better people if we allow for [discrimination] to happen in our workplace,” Moore said. “Whether it’s racial slurs or comments, sexist slurs or comments, or jokes in the workplace, it’s completely unnecessary. It does not make you look smart, it does not make you look sophisticated, it doesn’t mean anybody’s going to respect you anymore.”

If your group has not received results from the squadron commander on DEOCS, Moore encouraged Airmen to speak with him or to ask their supervisors to review the results.

Commander’s call at Peterson AFB addresses suicide, abuse and discrimination prevention
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