Back to Top Skip to main content

Who’s got YOUR six?

Military husband hugging his wife Oregon National Guard Soldiers returned home to Portland, Oregon in mid-August after being deployed in support of Task Force ARROW in Qatar and other overseas assignments. The Soldiers were greeted at the Kliever Memorial Armory in Portland by their friends and family members. (Photo by Master Sgt. John Hugel, Oregon National Guard.)

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Combat Support

“Who’s got your six?” A common phrase dating back to World War I fighter pilots, but co-opted in recent times to focus on service members looking out for each other’s safety and well-being, and to protect each other from harm.

Social support is critical for performance and well-being, but your vast sources of support might not be fully obvious. It’s important to think about your network of loved ones, friends, and others who have your back.

The military continues to form strong bonds forged through rigorous training, shared hardships, daily unit cohesion and knowing that your brothers- and sisters-in-arms are willing make the ultimate sacrifice.

It’s important to recognize that the support you need for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being comes in different forms. Thinking broadly about who’s “got your six” can help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are risk factors for poor health and mortality.

Social support can also look like this:

  • They’re empathetic and encouraging. Whether it’s a quick text message just to check in, taking your phone call in the middle of the night, or helping you process a recent failure, there are people in your life who you can count on—no matter what. They help you navigate challenges and change. They help you highlight and savor successes too.
  • They challenge you. Your biases might prevent you from seeing beyond your own perspective, which can sometimes impede your ability to accurately evaluate situations you find yourself in, solve problems, and maintain good relationships. You probably can think of someone in your life who pushes you to see beyond what’s right in front of you or challenges beliefs you might have about yourself or others.
  • They know that little things matter, so they’re helpful. Maybe your neighbor puts out your trash when she knows you’re TDY. Or you might have a coworker who brings coffee on busy meeting days. Those around you who know the little things matter—and find ways to assist—can help you more easily manage your day-to-day demands.
  • They support your professional development. Supervisors and other colleagues also “got your six” by helping you develop pathways to your career goals and aspirations. They create opportunities for growth and provide you with vital mentorship and feedback.
  • They help build your resource bank. When you’re struggling or going through tough times, those who “got your six” might be the first ones who are brave enough to tell you when they notice something might be wrong. They recognize and honor boundaries, while leading you to resources that can help improve your coping skills. They support you when you seek help to better cope with things too.
  • They might not come in forms you expect. Support can come from groups within your community, family, and even your pets. Online support groups, sports teams, and recreational clubs also can boost your feelings of belongingness and connection in unconventional ways.

Remember it’s not only about how THEY support you during critical times, but also how YOU support them. This is especially true when feeling stressed, overwhelmed or out-of-control. The bonds you develop can lead you through those tough times.

So the next time someone asks you, “Who’s got your six?” Think about “Who’s six do You have.” Who relies on you? Who do you mentor? Who do you check in on?

And then take a minute to acknowledge those people who positively impact your life. Let them know by giving them a #GotMySix shoutout in one of your next social media posts.

For more information about how social support can improve your performance, please visit the #GotMySix page on hprc-online.org.

You also may be interested in...

Weed ACH hosted breast cancer awareness event

Article
10/28/2020
Woman in pink hat and shirt, wearing a racing number, speaking to an audience

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support | Women's Health | Health Literacy Month 2020

WRNMMC expands innovation and opens new, permanent drive-thru pharmacy

Article
10/23/2020
Military pharmacist, wearing a mask, looking at bags of prescriptions

The new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up will operate similarly as the curbside pharmacy pick-up.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Health Literacy Month 2020

Army Social Worker for the Year: Lt. Col. Etheridge

Article
10/22/2020
Two military personnel, wearing masks, holding a crystal award

The award is presented annually to active duty social workers in the field of 73A (Social Worker).

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Fort Irwin DENTAC strives to reach readiness perfection

Article
10/21/2020
Image of patient getting a dental exam

To accommodate an entire installation, the dental clinic extended its hours.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS | Combat Support

Multinational trauma course aims to standardize battlefield care

Article
10/20/2020
Two soldiers, one laying on the ground and the other giving him medical attention

The international course...was aimed at providing unit-level health care providers life-saving instruction to increase survivability at the point of injury.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Navy pharmacy techs support COVID-19 and MHS GENESIS efforts

Article
10/20/2020
Navy personnel in a pharmacy

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aaron Souders is highlighted for his work as a Navy pharmacy technician.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS | Combat Support

Navy tele-health supports Guam civilian hospital during COVID-19

Article
10/19/2020
Woman sitting in front of several computer monitors

[T]his is the first-ever DoD tasking for telemedicine support in response to a request from civil authorities for aid.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Military pharmacy teams continue dedicated legacy of service

Article
10/19/2020
Black and white image of soldiers on the battlefield

Seven military pharmacy professionals have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

NH Bremerton relies on experienced nurse to help new moms

Article
10/16/2020
Military personnel gives nurse an award

"Navy Medicine has taken me from novice to expert over a 20 year career..."

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Women's Health | Patient Safety

Air Force Unit provides worldwide medical response capability

Article
10/15/2020
Two military personnel loading equipment onto an aircraft

The 379th EAES crews provide time sensitive in-flight patient care.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

DHA’s new Joint Operations Center serves as essential integration hub

Article
10/14/2020
Three military personnel looking at a document

From conference rooms to one location, DHA’s JOC gets an upgrade.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

‘I am Navy Medicine’ – helping another in need - Hospitalman Grace Pridmore of NMRTC Bremerton

Article
10/7/2020
Corpsman conviction of care, compassion and competence…Hospitalman Grace Pridmore, from Kellyville, Okla., assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton Detachment Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), was acknowledged for her selfless effort by Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, for identifying another Sailor at risk and taking quick action to help get the Sailor to the appropriate level of care, very possibly saving a life (official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer).

It takes more than just awareness to respond to someone showing signs of distress.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

DHA priorities focused on readiness, patients, outcomes

Article
10/7/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks at a podium.

Adaptation key to providing outstanding care to beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support | Access to Health Care | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMHM documents military medicine advancements during the Civil War

Article
10/5/2020
Old-time photo of soldiers with crutches, canes, and missing limbs.

Initial challenges to military medicine stemmed from limited medical knowledge and lack of organization in the medical corps.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Easy steps to understanding & thwarting depression during COVID-19

Article
9/30/2020
Five people sitting on yoga mats outside in the grass

Learning self-care strategies can help you take charge of your life and improve your mental and physical health.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Depression
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 9

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.