Keep Striving For Work-Life Harmony

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Israel Nuñez

Recently, I had what has become a rare, yet cherished, opportunity of taking one of my daughters to school. As I wished her well, it hit me that she has had to move across the United States twice in the past two and half years.

Having to uproot, adapt to a new environment and make new friends is not easy for anyone, especially young children. As a loving parent and husband, this moment of reflection allowed me think about the past five months since taking the seat as your Command Chief. I thought about the significant events and challenges that affect all of us who wear the uniform, and what we can do to best balance our love for service and family.

With end of year nearing, I have realized that the entirety of our service has been laser focused on reoptimizing for Great Power Competition. The lines of effort that will be undertaken as part of the Secretary of the Air Force’s initiatives are necessary to ensure we are prepared to deter and defend against aggression from the People’s Republic of China. We need to be prepared to embrace the changes to come as they will ensure that we are postured to be the force that our nation and allies need.

As Lt. Gen. Healy mentions, increased efforts to optimize our service and perform daily operations comes at a cost. The work that our Airmen put in requires time, dedication and sacrifice – often at the detriment of families and loved ones. Most recently, we have seen and felt that sacrifice through the overwhelming volunteerism seen by Citizen Airmen. Hundreds of you have raised your hands to part from your day-to-day careers and put your lives and families on hold in support of unexpected operations within the U.S. Central Command theater. The strategic depth and experience that you have brought, and continue to bring, is what makes a difference around the world and what has kept adversaries at bay.

Throughout my career, I have heard that the best recipe for managing that tug and pull that comes with answering our nation’s call is to find perfect work-life balance. Unfortunately, the latter is often difficult to attain and never perfectly balanced.

Knowing this, I encourage all of us to find work-life harmony. Focus on your time, energy and attention, and when/where you invest it. Be present in whatever you are doing at that moment. Give enormous amounts of energy, passion and love to your family when you are with them and apply the same to duty when it calls. Although timing may be imbalanced, embrace each minute, hour and day you spend with your loved ones. Be fully engaged when around them, show them how much they mean to you, and most importantly, never pass up an opportunity to tell them that you love them.

Please take time to be proud of your amazing service and reflect on your work-life harmony. We are in a demanding profession that requires careful navigation of many competing priorities. Your ability to adjust to the changes around you are a testament to your personal resiliency and your ability to harmonize each facet of your life. I cannot thank you and your families enough for your sacrifices and am thankful to serve with and for you.