WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III touched on two topics in his latest message to Airmen calling on them to take care of each other.
The first issue he mentioned was suicide, citing a recent spike in suicide numbers across the Air Force since the beginning of the calendar year.
“I need all of you to take a look around yourself and take care of each other,” he says in the video. “Do everything you can to find the Airman who’s struggling, help them get through this. Get them the professional help they need and make sure they understand there’s no weakness associated with that.”
The second topic Welsh discussed was sexual assault.
“You are working so hard to do the right things to help us eliminate this scourge … the results are showing,” he said, listing a number of efforts and programs that have been implemented over the last year.
He thanked sexual assault response coordinators, victim’s advocates, special victims counsel, medical professionals and law enforcement officials, judge advocates and commanders.
But Welsh cautioned Airmen about celebrating success too early.
“There is no victory dance until we have victory," he said. "So when we hit zero sexual assaults for a year, we’ll celebrate. Until then, keep taking care of each other.”
The message was delivered as part of Welsh’s “Airman to Airman” video series designed to highlight important topics to the force.