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Resiliency trainers help Team Vance Airmen handle the unexpected

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christian Soto
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- While the Air Force’s many careers fields may differ in their technical skill, the single commonality is dealing with the unexpected.

“Our lives can change so fast and cause a lot of anxiety due to the unexpected,” said Senior Airman Logan Graham, an Aerospace Physiology technician in the 71st Operations Support Squadron.

Graham is a resilience trainer assistant at Vance. She said resiliency highlights the ability to recover from complicated conditions that are often unplanned. “Using value based goals and remembering where you started and where you want to go gives you the time to grow and better handle adversity.”

For Victor Kearns, the community support coordinator at Vance Air Force Base, maintaining a resilient approach toward life is a way of life for him.

“Resiliency is my passion,” said Kearns. “The ultimate goal is to have the ability to thrive.”

Resiliency training in the Air Force consists of four domains that guide Airmen in approaching difficult situations with a different mental framework, said Kearns. Those domains are gratitude, spiritual, mental and physical.

Airmen learn about these domains when they attend First Term Airman Course at their first duty station, said Kearns. Beginning resiliency training early in an Airmen’s careers give them tools to handle the unexpected in a healthier way. 

“We start with gratitude and end with physical,” he said. “We do that because ultimately it ties together all the skills that we are taught.”

Resiliency training like the course taught at FTAC is conducted by a master resiliency trainer. The Air Force requires bases to have one master resiliency trainer for every 200 Airmen and two resilience trainer assistants for each MRT. 

To becoming a master trainer, Airmen must first be a training assistant and complete a two-week training course at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, said Kearns. Becoming a RTA requires an Airman’s leadership to recommend them. Following that recommendation, Airmen complete a one-day training program.

Graham said that becoming an RTA has been a welcoming and humbling experience.

“It made me aware of the negative habits that I have in myself,” said Graham. “Being a rational person provided the right mindset for becoming an RTA. One of the classes we teach is ‘Celebrating Good News.’ It really hit home for me because it changed how I react to people. I noticed that it improves morale, both at work and around friends.”

Seventeen MRTs and 55 RTAs support Team Vance, said Kearns. 

“These resiliency experts are part of the units and can help spread positive emotions, optimism and strong relations throughout the Wing,” he said. 

For more information about how to become an RTA, a MRT, or to schedule resilience training in the unit, contact Victor Kearns at