Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein hosted the first Air Force Survivor Advocacy Council meeting at the Pentagon March 6, to discuss how the Air Force can better serve military families after the loss of a service member.
The council, created in October 2019, provides an opportunity for surviving family members to discuss with senior leaders the type of support services currently available and which they hope to see. The Survivor Advocacy Council was created to secure vectors to strengthen support to Air Force survivors and validate their ongoing role in the larger Air Force family.
“The creation of the Survivor Advocacy Council allows us to provide the best assistance available to our military families,” Goldfein said. “It allows families to provide feedback, and help guide the military in a direction to better take care of the greatest asset we have, our Airmen.”
“This program is the first of its kind for the Air Force,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “The program is an open and unfiltered forum for survivors of Airmen to speak to Air Force leadership. This council allows survivors the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns that will drive future policy change.”
The Survivor Advocacy Council is currently composed of 13 survivor representatives who are spouses, children, parents and siblings of fallen Airmen. The representatives, who applied to serve on the council, were selected to bring knowledge and experience on what has worked and where improvements are required based on their experiences.
“Our Airmen are willing to sacrifice their lives for the greater good of our nation, and we want to ensure them that we are here for them and their families every step of the way,” Goldfein said. “We are grateful for the council members who have dedicated their time to advocate for families during a difficult journey.”