Comprehensive Airman Fitness: A Lifestyle and culture

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By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie, Air Force Public Affairs Agency OL-P / Published August 19, 2014

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices.

The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

The new AFI 90-506, published April 2, establishes flexibility for commanders and community support coordinators to facilitate resilience events and/or coordinate resiliency skills training in conjunction with or independent of commander-themed wingman days.

"Our job is to fight and win the nation's wars. We'll never be good enough at it; we've got to get better every day. It's not an easy task, which is why Comprehensive Airman Fitness is so important,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. “Our focus is on the well-being and care for ourselves, each other and our families so we can be more resilient to the many challenges military service brings."

During the senior leadership portion of the CAF training, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James spoke on the importance of taking care of Airmen as part of her top three priorities.

“CAF supports my main priority by ensuring all people and families within our Air Force are taken care of by providing a great opportunity for us to grow resiliently in our careers and our personal lives,” James said. “CAF is a lifestyle and culture that focuses on making sound choices while building a thriving Air Force comprised of comprehensively balanced individuals that are engaged in becoming mentally, physically, socially and spiritually fit.“

CAF emphasizes the wingman concept of Airmen and families taking care of themselves and each other, and empowers Airmen to hold each other accountable through Air Force core values.

This is an integrated framework that encompasses many cross-functional education activities and programs such as mental and physical wellness, social activities, family, peer and mentor support, and spiritual health.

The director of Air Force Services, Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Doherty, has sought resources for CAF and has distributed funds across the total force and major commands to aid installations with wingman days, resiliency events and projects.

The Air Force has also increased the ratio of master resilience trainers, or MRTs, from one trainer per 1,000 Airmen to one trainer per squadron. The goal is to train the entire total force and families to continually enhance resiliency skills and to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.

Individuals who are looking to self-nominate to be an MRT or resilience training assistant for their squadron or unit, can do so through their local leaders and their installation community support coordinator.

The Air Force understands families are vitally important to the culture of embracing holistic fitness and resilience skills, thus spouses participating in the Key Spouse Program are encouraged and can volunteer to train as resilience training assistants.

“The fact is, this is not just a job -- this is a lifestyle, for our Airmen and for us. Our support system is in our military and in our families,” said Mrs. Betty Welsh, the wife of the chief of staff. “We must take care of ourselves and each other to tackle every day challenges, to build and sustain a culture of comprehensively fit Airmen and families."

For more information about Comprehensive Airman Fitness, please visit the Air Force Portal and click on the CAF icon tab,

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