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CC Conference includes spouses luncheon

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 50th Space Wing Commander's Conference was held Sept. 22-23 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50 SW commander, engaged her uniformed leadership team during the conference sessions and their spouses during a luncheon.

"The Chief of Staff has said, 'We recruit Airmen but retain families,'" Burt said.  "This is about a culture change that requires commanders to ensure spouses have a voice as part of the command leadership team."

As part of the luncheon, Burt introduced her Wing Senior Spouse and Wing Key Spouse Mentor Danielle Mastalir. 

"She has agreed to join me, [Command] Chief [Master Sgt. John] Bentivegna and his spouse Cathy to help build a resilient community at Schriever and foster a culture of inclusiveness across the entire base," she added.

Together the two highlighted how spouses can work together across the installation to support Schriever families.

"New buildings, calendar events and services alone do not make a community.  Our people and relationships do," Mastalir said.  "This is where our spouses are critical."

Mastalir recalled her participation in the wing spouse training seminar at Maxwell Air Force Base in July. During the last day, the spouses had a two hour session with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his spouse Athena. 

"I realized as I listened to these professionals speak that I have a voice and it's important.  [They] wanted to hear what I and my colleagues had to say," Mastalir explained.  "And I submit to you the same principle.  Here at Schriever, we have voices and they are important."

Additionally Mastalir shared Athena's message to the Schriever spouses:

"Spouses and key spouses are the backbone of who and what we are.  We can't continue to tell people this is family business without creating an environment conducive to growth and support.  A healthy family is a connected family supported by its community.  We must begin to communicate and leverage spouses differently than we have in the past.  We need all doors open - all hands in - to create a healthy family.  If we do this right, our families will be trained, empowered and informed and they'll be a critical factor in our Airmen's strength and resilience."

Mastalir encouraged continued participation and community support.

"In the coming weeks and months, you can expect to see developing projects to get involved in as well, if you are willing and able," she said acknowledging spouses are juggling many responsibilities which may dictate their ability to support.  "It's OK if you can only participate in a limited capacity... join us when you can; your presence alone makes an impact."

In closing, Mastalir reminds spouses of their importance.

"Our efforts are essential to building a long-lasting Air Force community," she said.
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