AAAA professional forum offers activities for spouses
April 12, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 12, 2012) -- The theme of this year's Army Aviation Association of America forum -- "Army Aviation -- Professional, Strong and Committed, Today and Tomorrow" -- can be applied to spouses as well as their Army Aviators.
Spouses have become increasingly more involved at AAAA, a trend that has never been more apparent than at this year's gathering in Nashville, Tenn., April 1-4.
Kim Crutchfield, spouse of Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, was on hand during the opening ceremony to welcome spouses in attendance and to highlight upcoming events that focused on spouses.
Mrs. Crutchfield then introduced this year's recipients of the Order of Our Lady of Leroto, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the Army Aviation community.
Whether it's with their jobs outside of the home, volunteering in the community or by helping out with Family readiness groups, spouses play an important role in supporting their Soldier, according to Crutchfield.
"Not only are our Soldiers professional, strong and committed, we have wonderful spouses who are just as professional, strong and committed," said Crutchfield. "We want to recognize their contributions."
Later that day, Crutchfield hosted a spouse professional session that featured a discussion with Jean Twenge, Ph.D., a professor at San Diego State University, on understanding generational differences and bridging the communications gap between generations.
"Everyone loves to talk about generations," said Twenge. "There are many similarities across people of different generations, but it's the differences that can cause the problems."
"Professional development is important [for spouses]," said Crutchfield.
Discussions on topics like improving communications between generations can better prepare spouses to be good leaders that younger spouses can follow into the future of our Army, she added.
"I'm hoping that spouses walk away feeling that we understand their importance in their Soldier's life," said Crutchfield. "I appreciate the spouses coming out and taking advantage [of these opportunities], and I really appreciate AAAA and their support for a spouses program."
Conference attendees also had a chance to stop by the Wellness Café to learn about a variety of topics from planning healthy meals and exercise to relaxation techniques and mini-massages, building upon Crutchfield's belief that managing stress is an important part of being an effective leader.