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Academy hosts Front Range Key Spouse Symposium

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Ward
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications

After seven months of planning, the inaugural Front Range Key Spouse Symposium took place at the U.S. Air Force Academy, March 2, 2023. The participants traveled from military bases across the front range to attend the symposium, including Peterson, Schriever, Vandenberg and Buckley Space Force bases, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy and F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

The Key Spouse Program, an official Unit Family Readiness Program, enhances communication between unit leadership and families, promotes individual, family and unit readiness, and increases community connectedness.

The key spouse is a trained volunteer chosen by the unit commander to act as an official readiness representative and serves as a connector between unit leadership and families.
Erin Leonard, the 10th Air Base Wing key spouse mentor and the lead coordinator of
this event, said she wanted to provide a network of resources to key spouses across the front range.

“As key spouses and mentors we receive a lot of training from our local military and family readiness centers, but an event like this helps to break down silos between bases and allows key spouses and mentors to connect with similar units at other installations,” said Leonard.

Leonard said the success of the symposium showed there was great interest in the spouse community for increased communication and resource sharing.

Amy Phillips, a community readiness specialist and work life program manager, said the event provided a great networking and training opportunity.

“The focus of this training event was to provide opportunities to support, network and inspire each other that last beyond the day’s activities,” Phillips said. “The training provided by the Center for Character and Leadership Development was incredibly beneficial as it directly supported the symposium’s objectives.”

“Key spouses are a critical part of the mission across the Air Force and Space Force,” said Kimberly Dickman, CCLD’s Healthy Relationship Education branch lead. “The training we provided highlighted the importance of open dialogue across diversity for all members of our forces and their families.”

Leonard hopes this will be the first of many events aimed at bringing key spouses together in the Front Range area.