How one Airman supports resiliency

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brittany Landy
  • 301st Fighter Wing

Weighed down in mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear, Senior Master Sgt. Jonique Young, 301st Fighter Wing Religious Affairs superintendent, comes in with a bright smile and a positive attitude during the annual Airmen Readiness Training Exercise (ARTEX) II, Nov. 4, 2019, at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

This multiple-day exercise tests the unit's ability to project combat power, which requires Airmen to utilize resiliency skills.

It is essential for the religious support team (RST) to be a part of the ARTEX II because they provide support in any way to get Airmen to mission ready.

"The RST is very important in the exercise, just like they would be in a deployed setting. They are there to help with last rights, comfort injured Airmen, or even being someone they can talk to with 100 percent confidentiality," said Young.

Being a Religious Affairs Airman can be stressful, but there are far more memorable moments.

"Throughout the years, the most rewarding thing when I was an Airman was when I helped a fellow Airman through a suicide prevention and got him the mental help that he needed," said Young. "As a senior non-commissioned officer, it's rewarding to educate and empower the Airmen on my Religious Support Team to be able to help their fellow Airmen with resiliency."

Nineteen years ago, Young made a life-changing decision when she followed in her grandfather's footsteps and joined the military.

"I wanted to join because of my grandfather, who served in World War II and also because of my older cousin who joined," said Young. "I just wanted to be able to serve my country, and I also thought it would be a good way to get free college."

Young initially signed up for security forces, but during her basic military training, she met a chapel assistant while she was a chapel guide and decided to become one after having grown up going to church.

"I went to technical school for security forces for three weeks before I got the interview for me to change my job, and I got accepted," said Young.

Religious Affairs Airmen are there for all Airmen, no matter the religious background. They are there when an Airman needs someone to listen or talk to.

"I would just like Airmen to know that the Religious Support Team will always do our best to help our Airmen with anything," said Young.

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