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Schriever Airmen enroll in Wingman University


Team Schriever gathered to take part in the bi-annual Wingman Day event, Wingman University, Sept. 28 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

“The primary purpose of Wingman Day is to familiarize Airmen with the tools that are needed to become resilient. We wanted to create an event that they would not only enjoy, but also get something out of it,” Mary Barkley, Airman and Family services flight chief and lead coordinator for Wingman University explained.

Col. DeAnna Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, kicked off Wingman University at the fitness center with a commander’s call.

The commander’s call was arranged to resemble a pep rally with individuals encouraged to wear their favorite sports team clothing. The Ellicott School District band was on hand to help solidify the rally feel.

“Everyone liked the fact that they were able to wear civilian clothes and having the Ellicott school band there was fun,” said Barkley.

From functional fitness fundamentals to coloring with Project Angel Heart, Team Schriever members attended several events and classes. Winter Olympian Stephen Garbett skeleton athlete was also on hand as a guest speaker where he talked about how his preparation and perseverance for his event, ties into the message of resiliency.

“I attended Capitalizing Strengths. I thought this was a good class because not only did it cover capitalizing strengths, but it also touched on what our weaknesses were. That is very important in the work place because once you identify your weaknesses, you can build on them to become an all-around Airman and leader,” said Airman 1st Class Kyle Hackett, 50 SW command section.

Wingman Day’s intended goal is to reinforce the wingman concept as a foundation to being a resilient Airman. It emphasizes informational awareness, accountability, team-building and communication skills.

“A big part of being a wingman is to be connected to people. Wingman Day provides an opportunity to do this. We can teach resilience until we are blue in the face, but unless individuals have some type of attachment to each other, they won’t be able to get through adversity or stress,” said Barkley.

Traditionally Wingman Days are held internally, within units and squadrons. Uniquely, the 50 SW has held its Wingman Day as one big family.

 “Based off the surveys that I have seen from Wingman University participants, the feedback was that many participants were pleased with the concept of the day,” said Barkley.

“All around, Wingman Day was a lot of fun. It gives us Airmen a chance to step out of the workplace and interact with new people. Including for some people stepping out of our comfort zone, which is always good,” said Hackett.

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