Step Up, Step In program fosters Airmen care, leadership
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- If you are tired of sitting through Sexual Assault Prevention and Response briefings or bystander intervention training scenarios, what can you do to stop it?
“Simply by taking of each other,” said Lt. Col. Trent Davis, 51st Fighter Wing head chaplain. “If there were no sexual assaults, then these programs wouldn’t exist.”
However, sexual assaults do happen, they are real and they happen to friends, coworkers and Airmen at all levels.
The 51st Fighter Wing isn’t immune to these problems either, and to help combat sexual assaults, they started the Step Up, Step In (SUSI) comprehensive outreach initiative to communicate Airmen care and leadership at all levels.
“We are all delivering the same message, but it’s not getting to our Airmen well enough,” said Maj. Christie Simpson-McKenzie, 51st Medical Operations Squadron director of psychological health. “We want SUSI to be a common language that evolves into a cultural shift.
“If Airmen are thinking and talking about SUSI in casual day-to-day life, then that’s how this program will thrive.”
The Wing’s goals with SUSI are to reduce alcohol-related incidents, sexual assaults and suicides.
SUSI simplifies Col. Andrew Hansen’s, 51st FW commander, vision of “Ready Mustang leadership at all levels, a fitness culture and strong sense of community.”
“The responsibilities we have to one another to step up … and have the moral courage to step in at the appropriate time and stop someone from hurting themselves or somebody else; think how rewarding that would be,” said Hansen during a commmander’s call in October 2015.
According to Roger Hall, 51st Fighter Wing community support coordinator, reducing these situations won’t happen without Airmen stepping up and taking care of one another.
“SUSI is about adapting our mindsets to creating a caring and nurturing environment,” said Hall.
Even though SUSI can prevent negative situations, positivity can come from recognizing the Airmen stepping up and stepping in, whether it be leadership, friendship or community involvement.
“It’s vital to understand we are Airmen 24-7 and we represent the United States, Air Force and Osan, so everything we do when we exit that gate represents that,” said Davis. “Osan is a great place to be and each Airmen here should be holding themselves to a high standard.”
Whether they’re in the dormitories or visiting the streets of Seoul, Airmen can apply SUSI everywhere they go, which can make their Air Force safer and better in the process.
“SUSI is designed to be simple, clean and something all Airmen can relate to,” said McKenzie. “It’s very difficult to have one true message across the base, but I believe SUSI is the way to roll out the message of leadership, caring for the community and recognizing excellence, all one package."
For more information on Step Up Step In, contact Maj. Simpson-McKenzie at 784-2148 or the base Chapel at 784-5000.