WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Across Air Force Materiel Command, military and civilian employees continue to embrace the command’s culture and message of encouraging proactive bystander behaviors which emphasize intervening when others need assistance.
The primary philosophy of the Green Dot program, implemented across the Air Force, is to encourage everyone to be comfortable stepping up and stepping in to help prevent potentially violent situations as well as intervening when needed, to help others.
According to Carmen Schott, Headquarters AFMC Primary Prevention of Violence Program Manager, “In AFMC, and across the Air Force, we want our members to implement the 3 D’s of the Green Dot philosophy. Airmen are encouraged to either direct, delegate or distract when a situation that needs intervention is noticed.”
There are different levels of awareness and comfort identified in the Green Dot Program — directing, delegating and distracting. Not everyone will react to situations the same way.
Directing is confronting a situation head on and asking if help is needed, followed by rolling up the sleeves and getting involved.
While driving home from work, an Airman exercised the directing philosophy of Green Dot when he witnessed an automobile hit and run and immediately provided aid. He stayed with the victim until law enforcement arrived and gave a statement.
A recent example of successful use of the delegating philosophy was employed by a civilian supervisor who did a welfare check on her employee released from the hospital following a serious health crisis. As a supervisor wingman she phoned the employee at home and during the conversation realized the employee sounded strange and was having trouble getting her words out.
The supervisor promptly phoned the employee’s significant other, who was traveling. She also called 911. According to the employee, she experienced a mini stroke while on the phone with the supervisor and was hospitalized. Concern for her employee resulted in the supervisor’s direct intervention.
If it is difficult to direct or delegate during an occurrence, a distraction could break or pause an event long enough to stop a situation. For example, an action as simple as deliberately spilling a drink could break up a fight in the dorm. Distractions potentially change the dynamics of the event.
“We are proud to have so many wonderful individuals in our command who are true wingmen, exercising the Green Dot philosophy by constantly looking out for the welfare of those around them,” said Schott.