Airmen find resiliency through fitness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob Wrightsman
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Every uniformed member of our nation’s military understands the importance of physical training and how it correlates to accomplishing the mission of national defense, but for one squadron, PT is being used to achieve more than just a good PT test score.

In order to highlight physical wellness and bolster team camaraderie, the 608th Air Operations Center held an Airmen led sports day Nov. 8, 2019.

“During our ongoing efforts to improve resiliency, we began to look at what is a holistic way to continue to build resiliency,” said Col. Beth L. Makros, 608th AOC commander. “Trying to build mental health, psychological health and physical health, we decided to put a piece of each into each event for our sports day.”

The 608th’s sports day consisted of various physical and athletic events all with the intent of focusing on the relationship between physical fitness and overall well-being.

“We know there is a correlation between physical fitness and overall mental and physical health, there is no secret about it,” Makros said. “That’s what today is about, the physical aspect of resiliency and just being together building connections.”

The day was planned, scheduled and executed by Airmen who all volunteered to run the event.

“It’s really nice when leadership says ‘hey lets give these guys some responsibility and see what they can do with it’,” said Airman 1st Class Benjamin J. Selvaggio, 608th AOC target analyst. “It feels good that they trust us enough to put something together and help guide us in the right direction.”

“This was completely driven by some of our youngest Airmen who wanted sports day for us to go out and do fun physical activities,” Makros said.

To help breakdown some of the barriers to building connection with one another the 608th AOC brought Airmen out of their uniform to interact in a more casual atmosphere.

“We see each other everyday at work, but you don’t really get to see each other outside of the Air Force environment,” Selvaggio said. “So seeing people outside of work helps you learn someone better.”

“Sometimes it’s just good to get people away from their desks,” Makros added.

While military members may sometimes find PT lackluster and mundane, the 608th AOC has shown, PT can become an avenue to accomplish a better well-being and unit cohesion.