We are "All In" a letter from SECAF and CSAF

  • Published
  • By Hon. Michael Donely and General Norton Schwartz
  • Secretary of the Air Force and USAF Chief of Staff
Dear Airmen: 

We continue to be deeply concerned about each Airman...Active Duty, Reserve and Civilian... who chooses to take his or her own life. One suicide is too many, and we cannot let our guard down as we work to prevent the next. 

As leaders, supervisors and wingmen, we must be vigilant and willing to act when we see signs of distress. Any Airman even remotely considering suicide as an option must know that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Our Suicide Prevention Program has proven effective in the past, but that by itself is not enough. Preventing the next suicide requires each one of us to know the danger signs--and to be ready, willing, and able to engage actively when we see them. A simple way to think of it is ACE... Ask, Care, Escort. 

An Airman's suicide not only ends his or her own life, it has a tragic impact on the immediate family and on our Air Force team as a whole. We are all greatly diminished by each Airman lost to suicide. Just as we are "All In" to support the Joint mission, we must be "All In" to support each other through our Air Force community and wingman culture. It is sign of strength to seek help, but we must also be alert for those times when out wingman may need assistance. Those cases demand that we intervene personally, not just by pointing them in the right direction but actually leading them to safety.