Wingman Anonymous

  • Published
  • 9 Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Beale Airmen put down their cell phones and embraced the power of face-to-face contact during the inaugural Beale Social on Feb. 27, 2023.

Over 50 Airmen, E-1 to E-4, from various units met at the Recce Point Club to participate in this social event. Upon arrival, they turned in their phones and removed all identifiers from their uniforms such as name tags and unit patches.

“Many people in a social setting tend to gather with people they already know, or those they have something in common with,” said U.S. Space Force Tech. Sgt. Christina Sims, 7th Space Warning Squadron, Department of Intelligence flight chief. “Our intent was to remove that factor and for everyone to be anonymous so they can get to know each other before deciding if they want to share more.”

The Airmen were seated four per table and given a limited amount of time to engage with each other before rotating to a new group of unfamiliar faces.

The goal of this event was to build social resiliency by giving Airmen opportunities to find peers with similar interests.  

“We’ve put this program together to help Airmen connect personally,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sheldon Curl, 9th Missions Support Group senior enlisted leader. “It’s important for Airmen to realize that you need social connectiveness and use it as a pillar for resiliency.”

While workplace friendships are important, networking outside of the familiar has a lot of benefits.

“Sure, we can all meet people within our unit, but what about diversity?” said Curl. “You need someone to challenge your thoughts and opinions.”

After multiple hours of socializing, the participants built new bonds with Airmen they may never have met otherwise.

“It gave me a better appreciation for the base, knowing that there’s so many good people around,” said Airman 1st Class Adonis Tovar, 9th Communications Squadron communications systems technician. “I would encourage other Airmen to attend this event. There are other people on this base who have common interests, you just need a chance to meet them.”

Moving forward, this program will be held quarterly, with plans of expanding it to non-commissioned officers and junior officers. These types of programs aim to foster connections that could last a lifetime and lead to a resilient force.