Wingman day strengthens Airmen resiliency

Second Lt. Kristina Brandes, 50th Operations Support Squadron, practices her newly learned sewing techniques in a sewing class during Schriever's biannual wingman day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018.  Wingman Day is a multi-session event structured for members of the 50th Space Wing to enhance their resilience and sense of community.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Dennis Rogers)

Second Lt. Kristina Brandes, 50th Operations Support Squadron, practices her newly learned sewing techniques in a sewing class during Schriever's biannual wingman day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018. Wingman Day is a multi-session event structured for members of the 50th Space Wing to enhance their resilience and sense of community. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Dennis Rogers)

Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado members participate in Resilience Yoga, led by Laurie Works, during wingman Day May 4, 2018. Yoga was one of 28 base-wide events created to further build resilience skills so that Airmen can better handle stress, and bounce back from adversity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado members participate in Resilience Yoga, led by Laurie Works, during wingman Day May 4, 2018. Yoga was one of 28 base-wide events created to further build resilience skills so that Airmen can better handle stress, and bounce back from adversity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)-

First Lt. Erin Westphal with the 50th Operations Support Squadron participates in an acrylic painting class during wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018. Painting was one of 28 base-wide classes created to build a greater sense of community among Team Schriever members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

First Lt. Erin Westphal with the 50th Operations Support Squadron participates in an acrylic painting class during wingman Day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018. Painting was one of 28 base-wide classes created to build a greater sense of community among Team Schriever members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Lt. Col. Robert Marshall shares videos and images from his journey to the Mount Everest summit during the wingman Day opening ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018. The event was created to further build resilience skills so that Airmen can better handle stress, and bounce back from adversity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Lt. Col. Robert Marshall shares videos and images from his journey to the Mount Everest summit during the wingman Day opening ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado May 4, 2018. The event was created to further build resilience skills so that Airmen can better handle stress, and bounce back from adversity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The 50th Space Wing held its biannual wingman day at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado to promote wellness and resiliency May 4.

Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing and Lt. Col. Rob Marshall, adventure/experiential-based learning director from the U.S. Air Force Academy, spoke during the opening ceremony.

“As hard as we work, providing this opportunity to participate in a variety of interesting and fun courses helps us build resiliency and recharge our batteries,” said Grant. “We’re ‘all in’ on wingman day here, you get to pick your adventure.”

Marshall followed Grant and shared his message of resiliency and perseverance after he led an Air Force expedition to climb Mt. Everest.

After suffering the loss of close friends in an aircraft crash, Marshall started climbing mountains in his free time.

“I had to get out and sweat it out, that was my medicine,” said Marshall.

During his climbing he got the vision to create and lead an Air Force mountaineering team to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt. Everest.

“Whether it’s getting outside more, spending more time with your family, getting into religious faith or climbing mountains,” said Marshall. “Identify your passions, feed upon them and rely on them to build resiliency.”

Twenty eight classes were offered with more than 1,000 participants attending classes ranging from investing to fiscal wellness and even a yoga session.

“The different classes really let people choose what they want to focus on for resiliency,” said Jess Schroeder, community support coordinator and director of resilience operations with the 50th SW. “It allows them to work on the areas they think they need.”

One of the key aspects of wingman day is members from across the wing get to learn from and interact with each other.

“It’s important here at Schriever AFB because we’re kind of cut-off in our own little world and often times we don’t get a chance to have a sense of community and when you see people from different work areas all participating in things together it feels more like a community,” said Master Sgt. Thomas Locke, section chief for client services with the 50th Space Communications Squadron, who took a self-defense class.

Community is about doing things you love and if you’re with other people doing something you value you’ll have an instant connection with them, he added.

Senior Master Sgt. Justin Halterman, first sergeant for the 50th Operations Group, taught a class on tactical leadership along with other 50th SW first sergeants.

“All of us coming together spending time together outside of our boxes, and getting to know each other, learning topics that help us as Airmen, and humans as a whole, is always important,” said Halterman.

“It could be investing, working your credit score, balancing your life it doesn’t matter, we had ten different squadrons represented in my class, so it really gives me an opportunity to interact with people I don’t normally see on a daily basis,” he added.

The next wingman day is scheduled for October. Contact Jess Schroeder at 567-5726 to request a class or for more info on this or other resiliency initiatives.