Three U.S. Air Force personnel complete CAF Sentinel Program

Three members of the United States Air Force (USAF) completed the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) SENTINEL program offered by the 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay.

Staff Sergeant Sierra Rathbun, Technical Sergeant Sheryl Ubando, and Master Sergeant Jonathan Miller are the first United States Air Force (USAF) members to have completed the Sentinel Course.

Building Relationships

They were nominated for the training by their leadership to represent the USAF and build relationships, bringing our two countries closer together.

“I am honoured to have a chance to serve side-by-side with my Canadian military family,” said Master Sergeant Jonathan D. Miller, Detachment 2, First Air Force, operations superintendent. “This opportunity is truly unique, one that I will cherish for years to come. This training opportunity is a bridge between the USAF Resiliency Program and the CAF Sentinel Program, and is a huge step toward bi-national integration.”

The goal of the program is to better equip members with how to be aware and confirm signs of distress exhibited by their peers, and how to appropriately respond (ex. listening skills) and refer them to the appropriate support service.

Sentinels are responsible for the following:

      • Observing people within a unit to determine if anyone is showing signs of distress.
      • Confirming that a person is under some form of stress and that support is needed to prevent things from getting worse.
      • Taking action to support a person in distress (e.g., listening, being present, supporting).
      • Referring a distressed person to the appropriate resources, including a chaplain, social worker, support group, etc.

Program available for CAF Personnel & DND Employees

This program is available to both CAF members and the Department of National Defence employees but requires a consult with their chain of command in collaboration with their chaplain to become an official/active Sentinel within their organization following their training.

“We talk about the SENTINEL Program as taking people who already care about the people around them, and give them the tools and skills to care more effectively. It is inspiring to see how many CAF members truly care about the members they serve alongside. It is amazing to watch the participants grow in skill and confidence as the training goes along,” said Captain Laura Coxworth, Hangerline Chaplain, 17 Wing. “You can see their anxiety lessen as they learn alongside CAF members of many different backgrounds, trades, and rank levels. A side benefit of having a diverse group of participants learning together in the same room is the networking opportunity, and the opportunity to understand the challenges and experiences of different trades.”

Launched in 2007 at 2nd Canadian Division, the SENTINEL program now has over 3,400 trained sentinels in the CAF.

Above Image: From left, Staff Sergeant Sierra Rathbun, Technical Sergeant Sheryl Ubando and Master Sergeant Jonathan Miller are the first U.S. Air Force members to complete the Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel Program Course, offered by 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ontario. PHOTO: Staff Sergeant Patrick Bisigni

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Paige LeClair

As a recent graduate from the St. Thomas University Journalism program, Paige has a passion for storytelling and investigative journalism. In 2016, she, along with her journalism team were awarded first place at the Emerge Media Awards in the multimedia category. The team was also a finalist at the Canadian Association of Journalist Awards. She is excited to work with other military spouses providing stories and information to the military community. Paige is newly married to Andrew, a Lineman, and moved to their first posting in Petawawa in May of this year. She is excited to begin this journey with Andrew, their dog Diablo, and cat, Linux

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Canadian Military Family Magazine