AFMES embraces resiliency
By Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Public Affairs
/ Published July 09, 2018
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --
The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System held a town hall at the base theater here May 24, 2018.
The town hall focused on workplace and summer safety, security awareness and resiliency.
The day allowed AFMES personnel to hear from leadership, decompress from normal operations and were provided with information on ways to manage stress and take action to achieve and sustain personal readiness.
“Today allows us to take inventory of ourselves, our coworkers and our families,” said U.S. Army Col. Louis Finelli, the AFMES director. “It provides us an avenue to talk and reflect because I can’t do anything I do, without you.”
AFMES is comprised of three departments, The Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, the Department of Defense DNA Operations and the Division of Forensic Toxicology.
Together, the different departments help investigate the cause and manner of death, help with DNA mission support and perform toxicology exams.
“Because of the nature of the AFMES mission, it’s important for us to destress,” said Finelli. “I want to make sure that we are able to come together and decompress. It’s important we have these avenues to stay resilient.”
According to a 2015 RAND Corporation study on Air Force resiliency, resilience is the ability of an individual to “bounce back” after experiencing stress. It is also the ability to withstand, recover and grow in the face of changing demands.
Service members are prone to unique stressors because of their jobs, which include, operational tempos, deployment schedules, time spent away from families and frequent moves. Unmanaged stress is similar to any other injury, when left untreated, it may lead to more serious problems.
“Resiliency and coping strategies for stress are skills that anyone can learn,” said Tech Sgt. Robert Trujillo, the AFMES Resiliency Program manager. “These skill sets can be strengthened through training and continued use. It can be as simple as adopting the glass half-full mentality.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, reach out to a mental health specialist or the Chaplains within AFMES, Chaplain (Capt.) Michael Carollo, 436th Air Wing Chaplain, at 302-677-5590, or Master Sgt. Shane Rushforth, 436th AW Chaplain’s Office superintendent of religious affairs, at 302-677-3932.
For additional resiliency questions or resources, contact the AFMES Resiliency Program Manager at 302-346-8658.