MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
McConnell recently launched their new “Peer-to- Peer” initiative, designed to optimize the use of existing programs and helping agencies within the installation.
“The Peer-to-Peer initiative is not just another program,” said Chaplain Jacob Wilde, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Chaplain. “It aims to establish close-knit bonds among a small group of Airmen, facilitating genuine conversations and exploring the full range of resources that our agencies have to offer.”
The initiative is targeted towards junior enlisted airmen between the ranks of E-1 to E-4.
“It presents a unique opportunity for Airmen to invest more time in a select group of individuals, who can then spread this vision to others, creating a chain reaction of positive impact,” said Wilde. “The initiative is similar to discipleship, where Airmen can build connections, not just to our helping agencies, but to each other.”
The initiative is designed to create a non-judgmental space where Airmen can discuss their problems without fear of being reprimanded or misunderstood.
The idea for Peer-to-Peer originated from discussions among base leadership about bringing the White Rope program to McConnell, as White Rope is a Chapel-led program, it piqued the interest of head Chaplain. After multiple discussions and formulating a plan, the task was assigned to launch the Peer-to-Peer initiative, said Wilde
Peer-to-Peer consists of a two-day training course, where Airmen have the opportunity to interact with various helping agencies, including the chapel, Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC), Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Equal Opportunity (EO), Mental Health and the Integrated Resiliency Office, and how they can help connect others to those resources.
To join, Airmen go through a two-part application process. The first step involves providing general information and answering questions about their interest in the program. The second part of the application requires signatures from their first sergeant and commander to confirm their support for the Airmen's participation in the initiative.
“The people who are joining Peer-to-Peer, are people who are genuinely here to help others and not looking for bullet on for their BTZ, or awards,” said Airman 1st Class Brianna Thomas, financial operations technician. “With this being the beta test. I'd definitely like to see, more people signing with up to one person in each squadron or every office. I'm hoping it succeeds.”
Peer-to-Peer is catered to McConnell, but Wilde hopes that other bases will be inspired to create their own initiatives that work for them.
“Each base has its unique characteristics, and a cookie-cutter program may not work everywhere,” said Wilde. “However, the overall goal remains the same: building connections among Airmen and creating a positive impact on their lives.”
For more information contact Chaplain Wilde at 316-759-3561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.