An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Reservists, families learn emotional intelligence at Yellow Ribbon event

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brittany Wich
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families learned skills to further understand the stressors of deployment and emotional intelligence at a Yellow Ribbon conference in Jacksonville, Florida, April 30-May 1.

Lt. Col. Brande Newsome, a reservist working at the Pentagon and an Air Force Reserve Command civilian employee, instructed a resiliency training session called “Reframe - Control How You React” during the conference.

Newsome said the importance of learning how to understand yourself and how you react to events is the foundation for strengthening relationships and building resiliency, which is important in a deployed environment. Understanding the difference between emotional and physical reactions is a key step in understanding yourself.

Newsome further explained that emotional responses are internal feelings like fear, frustration or sadness, and physical responses are external actions like yelling or slamming a door.

“There are consequences that others experience when you have a physical reaction,” she said.

The ability to regulate your internal emotions to match what the situation calls for is emotional intelligence, which can be strenuous on members during deployments, according to Newsome.

Resource providers, such as Key Spouse mentors, are equipped to assist families with these types of stressors, especially during deployments.

“Deployments are a difficult time for any family unit,” said K.C. Erredge, a Key Spouse mentor from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. “Separation, limited communication and changes in responsibilities can create stress for both the member and their loved ones. Because everyone experiences and handles stress differently, it is important for us to learn valuable skills to combat negative emotional and physical reactions when we are in those challenging times.”

The Yellow Ribbon Program offers resiliency classes and many other resources to support Airmen and their loved ones before, during and after deployment.

Newsome explained that the reframing process helps individuals slow the thought process down and control their own emotional or physical response, regardless of the other individual’s response.

She said the first step in the reframing process is to focus on an event that caused a negative reaction, then record in a journal or letter your thoughts and reactions, both physical and emotional, of what happened and what you would have preferred to happened.

“Events aren’t positive or negative, it’s our thoughts about the events that are positive or negative,” said Newsome. “We have a lot more control than what sometimes we see happening out there.”

Newsome said reframing requires that individual ask themselves the following questions:

  • How do I slow my thought process down?
  • How do I check for understanding from the other individual?
  • How can I respond emotionally and physically in a positive way?
  • How can you reframe the events going forward?

Brigadier Gen. Lisa Craig, Air Force Recruiting deputy commander from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, attended the class. She said, “The process of reframing is really important as leaders and followers, so we can deescalate any situations that do occur and respond appropriately.”

Craig explained that if members practiced this reframing process as often as training exercises are conducted, the more likely it will become a muscle-memory response.