ARLINGTON, Va – Nearly 100 Soldiers, Airmen and family members of the National Guard Bureau’s joint staff participated in a Joint Staff Tactical Wellness event May 18 at the Herbert R. Temple Jr. Army National Guard Readiness Center to educate members on resources and practices to maintain and improve health and wellness.
Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony L. Whitehead, the National Guard’s top enlisted leader, began the event by discussing the importance of holistic fitness.
“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 first sergeant, 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,” Camacho said.
NGB’s joint staff comprises Army and Air National Guard personnel who assist Guard leaders with strategic direction, operation under unified commands, and integration into efficient teams of land and air forces.
The event included briefings from nonprofit organizations that support service members and their families, including the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program.
Attendees could 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 National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilians.
The initiative aligns with the National Guard Holistic Wellness Challenge begun in March by Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, to improve the wellness of Army and Air National Guard members and their families.