MAY 25, 2023 – Nearly 100 Soldiers, Airmen, and family members of National Guard Bureau’s joint staff participated in an inaugural Joint Staff Tactical Wellness event on May 18, 2023, at the Herbert R. Temple Jr. Army National Guard Readiness Center, in an effort to educate members on available resources and practices that aid in the maintenance and advancement of overall health and wellness.
Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony L. Whitehead, the National Guard’s top enlisted leader, opened the event on the importance of being holistically fit.
“As we reflect on what truly matters to us as individuals and as an organization, the concept of tactical wellness becomes paramount,” said Whitehead. “It encompasses all that enables us to accomplish the mission and, more crucially, ensures that we are surrounded by individuals who recognize the significance of fully engaging our mind, heart, and spirit.”
Air National Guard Master Sgt. Leah Marie Camacho, NGB joint staff 1st Sgt., led the planning and execution of the event, “I wanted to let individuals, in the joint staff and ARNG, know what resources are available to them and bring them all to one place.”
NGB’s joint staff, composed of Army and Air National Guard personnel, assists NG leaders with strategic direction, operation under unified commands, and integration into efficient teams of land and air forces.
The event included briefs from various non-profit organizations that support service members and their family members, such as Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and the Military & Family Life Counseling Program. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a guided meditation session and a body scan presentation to learn new tools to cope with stress, manage anxiety, and increase self-awareness.
“There are certain things [such as mental health] that we may overlook, but they are crucial for our overall health, well-being, and productivity,” said Whitehead. “Ignoring these important factors can hinder our ability to function at our best, not only for ourselves but also for those around us, such as our family members, battle buddies, or wingmen. We must prioritize these things to achieve our full potential.”
As part of the ongoing holistic initiative, the joint staff sends out new wellness topics on the first of every month to its’ National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilians.
The initiative falls in line with the National Guard Holistic Wellness Challenge put forth in March by Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, in an effort to improve the wellness of Army and Air National Guard members and their families.
To learn more about the Holistic Wellness Challenge, upcoming events, and the resources available to Guard and family members, visit www.nationalguard.mil/Resources/Holistic-Wellness-Challenge/
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Pena
National Guard Bureau