Unintended Consequences

With modern technology, communicating with loved ones has gotten so much easier, said Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel, and services. However, one of the unintended consequences is that “whatever happens out on the road on deployment, it’s right back at home” and vice versa, he said at the Spouse and Family Forum at the Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. There was no communication with loved ones while deployed when Cox was a young airman, he said on Sept. 15. “That was just the way of life.” Airmen now have to deal with new issues and learn to be resilient. “How you deal with that is a little bit of a challenge,” he said. Another change is that before spouses of lower-ranking officers couldn’t participate in activities that were largely held by spouses of senior-ranking officers, he said. Now, “there’s an integration of spouses (officer, enlisted, and civilians) together to make sure we can work problems that need to be worked across the force,” he said.