True North Initiative Fortifies Resilience

A photo of an Airman firing a pistol at a target.

An Airman fires at a target during a shooting competition at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 11, 2021. True North embeds psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, chaplains and religious affairs Airmen into units so helping services are in the same building. The True North event focused on instilling and reinforcing the multi-capable Airmen skills that junior Airmen are expected to learn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Turnbull)

Pictured above is an Airman loading ammunition into a magazine.

An Airman loads a magazine at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 11, 2021. The True North program is a resilience program that embeds providers and spiritual leaders within squadrons and groups. The True North event focused on instilling and reinforcing the multi-capable Airmen skills that junior Airmen are expected to learn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Turnbull)

A photo of a man standing at a podium giving a briefing.

Tim Stearns, 355th Wing True North program manager, gives a briefing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 11, 2021. True North embeds psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, chaplains and religious affairs Airmen into units so helping services are in the same building. Davis-Monthan implemented True North in October 2020 and is one of only 16 Air Force bases to have the program at this time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Turnbull)

A photo of an Airman inspecting a shooting target.

An Airman inspects a target used during a shooting competition at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 11, 2021. The True North program is a resilience program that embeds providers and spiritual leaders within squadrons and groups. Davis-Monthan implemented True North in October 2020 and is one of only 16 Air Force bases to have the program at this time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Turnbull)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

First sergeants from across the 355th Wing attended a True North resiliency event at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 11, 2021.

The True North program is a resilience program that embeds providers and spiritual leaders within squadrons and groups. The embedded structure is the strength of the program because it enables access to resources. The program’s goal is to normalize help-seeking behavior, optimize performance and increase resilience of the force and their families.

DM implemented True North since October 2020 and is one of only 16 bases to have the program at this time.  More bases will be added as the program continues to roll out.

“True North seeks to build resilient service members and families primarily by embedding service providers of different sorts in the units themselves,” said Bonnie Scotto, True North program manager. “We embed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, chaplains and religious affairs Airmen so that the helping services are right there in the unit.”

This event directly targeted DM’s first sergeants because they are the 355th Wing’s problem solvers. When there is a situation that needs attention, this is the group of professionals that Airmen look to for direction.

The event included a shooting competition in the morning, lunch at the 48th Rescue Squadron and an informational briefing on what services True North provides to the units.

“The event was designed to improve first sergeant resiliency through team building,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cody Tutt, 48th Rescue Squadron first sergeant. “They also learned the same multi-capable Airmen skills we are asking our Airmen to learn and developed a leadership mindset that is focused on Agile Combat Employment.”

True North’s foundation is mental and spiritual health which are two of the four pillars of Air Force resiliency. Resiliency is more than a resiliency day or single event, it is a way of life that ensures our physical, mental, spiritual and social reserves are ready to meet life’s inevitable struggles. By focusing on these lines of effort our first sergeants and other leaders can focus on developing the Air Force’s greatest resource, Airmen.