Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Who’s got YOUR six?

Image of Military husband hugging his wife. Click to open a larger version of the image. 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:

| 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...

Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

Photo
5/12/2022
Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Maxwell (Left) and U.S. Capt. Brian Ahern, medical personnel assigned to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recovery team, check the pulse of a local villager during excavation operations in the Houaphan province, Laos, Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael O'Neal)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

“Buddy! Buddy! Are You Okay?” A Look Into The Marine Corps' Livesaver Course

Article Around MHS
4/19/2022
Combat Lifesaver Course practical

The Combat Lifesaver Course is a three-day course that teaches Marines lifesaving medical techniques to eliminate preventable loss of life on the battlefield.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

How COVID-19 Made the Military Medical Community Stronger

Article
3/21/2022
Image of a service member being treated

Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has made the military medical community stronger and will help when confronting the next crisis, whether that’s another pandemic, a new conflict or natural disaster

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Top Military Health Leaders Discuss Future Readiness

Article
3/8/2022
An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, prepares to transport U.S. Army medical personnel to Guam in support of the global COVID-19 response on April 13, 2020.

Top military health leaders highlight the importance of preparing for the future to ensure both a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Positive Activity Jackpot App

Fact Sheet
1/19/2022

Positive Activity Jackpot App combines a behavioral health therapy called Pleasant Event Scheduling (PES) with augmented reality technology to help users find interesting things to do close to where they live.

Recommended Content:

Solution Delivery Division | | Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

Practice makes perfect: Uniformed Services University students learn combat casualty care

Article Around MHS
10/22/2021
An instructor gives advice on how a team of medical school students at the Uniformed Services University should work on their simulated patient during the Advanced Combat Medical Experience. 

The Advanced Combat Medical Experience (ACME), a four-day medical field practicum at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), is intense

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Expeditionary Medical Force Brings Optimal Readiness in Pacific Region

Article Around MHS
10/18/2021
A male soldier talks about a chart to to a female sailor.

The 121st Field Hospital of the 549th Hospital Center recently introduced an innovative way to increase medical Soldiers’ proficiency and competency by enhancing access to the field hospital equipment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

Navy Spouse Seeks Mental Health Care through the MHS

Article
9/15/2021
Military personnel in front of a helicopter

Army public affairs officer deals with mental health crisis.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit |

Audiology Awareness 1

Infographic
9/14/2021
Audiology Awareness 1

Healthy ears equal ready force. Audiology Awareness

Recommended Content:

Occupational Eyewear Safety

Infographic
9/14/2021
Occupational Eyewear Safety

Injury Prevention - Listen up, watch out

Recommended Content:

Training Eyewear Safety

Infographic
9/14/2021
Training Eyewear Safety

Injury Prevention - Listen up, watch out

Recommended Content:

Audiology Awareness 4

Infographic
9/14/2021
Audiology Awareness 4

Grab your ear pro. Wear hearing protection to prevent injury and maintain your ability to do your job. Audiology Awareness

Recommended Content:

Eyewear Safety

Infographic
9/14/2021
Eyewear Safety

Injury Prevention - Listen up, watch up

Recommended Content:

Audiology Awareness 3

Infographic
9/14/2021
Audiology Awareness 3

How Audiologists Keep you mission ready. Audiology Awareness

Recommended Content:

Audiology Awareness 2

Infographic
9/14/2021
Audiology Awareness 2

Is untreated hearing loss masking your ability to hear? Audiology Awareness

Recommended Content:

<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 11

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.