An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

YARS helping agencies an essential element of the fight

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Juliet Louden
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Janis Scobee, spouse of the chief of the Air Force Reserve, and Edith White, spouse of the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the Air Force Reserve, visited Youngstown Air Reserve Station, March 6-7, 2021. The visit was designed for the spouses to experience first-hand the resiliency programs YARS offers their Airmen and families.

The Department of Defense programs and the civilians who run them bring an essential part to the Air Force fight. Scobee and White’s visit focused on highlighting these programs and having open discussions about their significance and impact.

“DoD civilian programs bring a diversity of thought to various issues facing our Airmen,” said Scobee. “Civilians bring a non-military uniqueness to help solve problems in different ways.”

Karen Hazle-Johnson, 910th Airlift Wing violence prevention integrator, also expressed the integral part DoD helping agencies play in assisting Airmen in all aspects of their lives.

“We are the foundation that keeps everything going,” said Hazle-Johnson. “Our programs address the whole person, all the way from their head to their toes.”

Scobee and White both expressed that the coronavirus pandemic created a greater need for many of the helping agencies offered in the Air Force.

“The psychological health program throughout the Air Force is important to the mental health of our Airmen, because life is hard,” said Scobee. “Airmen are more likely to go to DPH because they are civilians and nothing they say is written down or documented. Airmen can get the help they need without fear of repercussions.”

Scobee and White also reflected on the importance of the sexual assault response coordinator, which is another DoD helping agency offered at YARS.

“SARC gives Airmen a safe place to go when something tragic has occurred,” said Scobee. “SARC helps Airmen in affirming their feelings and understanding their reporting options.”

“Sexual harassment occurs in the military, and the SARC helps take care of the Airmen,” said White. “SARC will even help if the situation didn’t happen during an Airman’s time in the military. Having a person to talk to about an Airman’s options on this sensitive issue is extremely important.”

The DoD helping agencies at YARS do whatever possible to take care of their Airmen.

“It is difficult for people to find resources that are not located on base or readily available to them because they don’t know they exist,” said Jim Naughton, 910th Airlift Wing Airman and Family Readiness director. “We are a resource during basic training, deployments and relocations.  Our program also offers help to Airmen and their families in finances, employment, childcare and transition assistance. Our programs touch all aspects of Airmen’s lives.”

Another way DoD civilians at YARS bring support to the fight is through physical fitness resources offered by Matt Gruse, an exercise physiologist at the base fitness center. 

“Our goal is to help Airmen be physically prepared to enter basic training before they even get there,” said Gruse. “We are here to help any Airman achieve their physical fitness goals. The fitness center has a tool called the Gait test, which is used for assessing how an Airman walks and runs. The analysis is used to help improve running techniques and even which type of running shoes Airmen should wear.”

The DoD civilians at YARS are instrumental in helping Airmen and their families throughout their Air Force career and beyond.

“We want to assist Airmen to be successful with whatever they want to do with their lives,” said Hazle-Johnson. “Our goal is to help Airmen stay in the Air Force and fill the duty they are called to do.”