MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 23rd Maintenance Group Airmen are critical to the mission at Moody and work endlessly to keep planes flying.
In addition to supporting the mission, it’s important to develop well-rounded Airmen by investing time and resources into improving their quality of life. To do that, maintenance group leaders have incorporated the Airman 4 Life program, which offers a variety of classes covering topics such as car maintenance, personal finances, time management and more.
With the intention of further developing Airmen’s life skills outside of their specific career fields, the 23rd Maintenance Operations Flight adopted the A4L program in April 2022.
“You pull away from the mission to work on you as an individual,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Acreman, 23rd MXG training superintendent. “You develop your own life skills, which then tie back and pour back into that mission. We're building you to be a better adult and then at the same time, you're going to be a better Airman.”
The 23rd MOF created four teams of approximately 20 Airmen and each Friday, one team participates in the program. The scheduled day includes physical training, a life lesson that ties into one of the eight pillars of wellness, lunch and Airmen’s time.
“It's about getting together with other military members to have fun, learn about resources, other people's ways and processes to handle life and work,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Timothy Turner, 23rd Maintenance Operations Flight technical order distribution office and product improvement manager. “For everyone to understand we're all humans, we all have emotions and that we're all in this together. That we're not alone and that you are not alone.”
Although this program features physical life skills – such as how to change a tire – there is also a mental aspect that develops during group discussions and experiences.
“Someone else has gone through the same situation that you're currently going through or have gone through and are still suffering with,” Turner said. “It's all in the way you handle it, how you act, how you react to those situations - and this can help with reactions.”
While every Airman has their own way of dealing with adversity, meeting new people of different ages and ranks can open the mind to new perspectives.
Those various perspectives help shape Airmen into a more strong and ready team capable of tackling the mission at any time.
"To be a real combat Airman, you need to have the mentality part in your personal life down,” Acreman said. “Otherwise, you can't be that whole Airman that everybody needs and you need for yourself.”
Although the 23rd MOF just adopted the program, Airmen have already provided positive feedback.
“I love the opportunity to network with people from different sections,” said Airman 1st Class Michael Nelson, 23rd Maintenance Operation Flight maintenance information systems manager. “I want to expand that opportunity to meet new people and expand my skill set in my career and individual development. I've been able to help other people and make friends outside of my section.”
The 23rd MOF is working hard to keep the program innovative by stepping away from classroom briefing style and going out into the community to learn and network.
Turner said he hopes other units across the base will adopt the Air Force-wide program so they’re able to open the door to more opportunities for Airmen.
“This is a building block for so many levels of things and that one happier, healthier, more knowledgeable Airman can now perform his craft better,” Acreman said. “(They) can now affect the airmen next to him better. It just bleeds through everything.”