The Life Coach Program: motivating and supporting AiTs

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katie McKee
  • 82d TRW Public Affairs

The Integrated Resilience Office introduced the Life Coach Program, an initiative focused on enhancing the well-being and performance of Airmen in Training here. The 82nd Training Wing is the first base to extend the pilot program to AiTs in a remarkable leap forward in the Air Force’s commitment to the growth and resilience of its future leaders.

Rosalind Strickland, IRO Prevention Analyst, leads a dedicated team of seven active-duty members and three civilians, all of whom hold Master Certified Life Coach credentials through the Life Coach Institute.

“We wanted to provide a resource within the squadron where Airmen feel that support is within reach,” said Strickland. “It’s OK to reach out and need support from helping agencies. This is a non-therapeutic conversation where we get an opportunity to work with the individual and lead them without telling them what to do.”

The MCLC team members are deeply committed to the personal and professional development of AiTs. Their interactions with AiTs extend beyond the classroom and training grounds. They meet with Airmen twice a week for two-hour sessions, where they offer guidance and support in various aspects of life.

Barry Alcorn, Air Force retiree and current 82nd Security Forces Squadron equipment manager, already felt he could connect with Airmen, but now he feels better equipped to guide them.

“We’ve always been doing the life coach thing without even knowing we’re doing it because it’s about being invested in what the Airmen are saying,” said Alcorn. “I just let them talk and I listen. I’ve never had these tools to fully guide them and now I do.”

These interactions often start with simple greetings and progress to more profound conversations about professional growth, life purpose and personal well-being. Tech Sgt. James Patterson, 366th Training Squadron instructor, teaches Airmen every day, but being a MCLC allows him to serve Airmen in a different aspect.

“As instructors, we work with Airmen every day, but we’re in uniform, in their chain of command and have authority over them,” said Patterson. “It’s nice to detach from that authority and just be able to help them without them seeing the rank.”

The Life Coach Program has provided a much-needed support system for service members, making the transition into the operational Air Force smoother. While the program started within the 365th and 362nd TRS, the goal is to evaluate and further integrate into all the squadrons on base.

Beyond the immediate benefits, the Life Coach Program could lead to a more resilient and motivated generation of Airmen. The IRO thanks Ms. Erin Helenschmidt, Mr. Barry Alcorn, Mr. Adam Arruda, Master Sgt. Chris Hall, Master Sgt. Audra Pecher, Tech. Sgt. James Patterson, Tech. Sgt. Dustin Poston, Tech. Sgt. DeJaneiro Styron, Tech. Sgt. Felicia Rich and Tech. Sgt. Ernest Foster for giving their time and efforts to our Airmen.

“Talk to a Life Coach today. Your future self will thank you tomorrow.”