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New MFLC provides guidance, helps Duke Field Airmen

Civilian in plaid shirt stands on flightline with aircraft in the background..

Bill Scruggs, Military and Family Life Counseling licensed mental health counselor, poses for a photo on the flightline at Duke Field, Florida, Sept. 12, 2021. Scruggs worked as an Emergency Room psychiatrist in Alaska before coming to Florida to pursue a career as an MFLC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Citizen Air Commandos have many resiliency resources at their disposal. One service available to all Airmen and their families is Military Family Life Counseling Program.

Bill Scruggs, licensed mental health counselor, arrived Duke Field in July 2021 and has hit the ground running as the Military Family Life Counselor.

MFLC counselors are trained mental health therapists that specialize in military life and issues affecting service members.

MFLCs keep locations private, don’t take notes, and are there to offer support and guidance for service members and their loved ones. They are not mandatory reporters, and are available to meet off-the-record at locations of the member’s choice or over the phone.

“I’m humbled to be here and do what I do,” said Scruggs. “I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'll certainly roll up my sleeves, and work with members to improve their lives.”

Scruggs studied criminal justice before changing his major to psychology in college. He felt that he had a natural talent and interest in the field. Scruggs went on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology.

“I have enjoyed getting back into the counseling aspect of this position,” said Scruggs. “My career spans about 38 years and started out as hands-on counseling and therapy then gradually moved into management, behavioral health administration, and private practice.”

He worked as an Emergency Room psychiatrist in Alaska before returning to the lower 48 states to pursue a career helping service members at Duke Field as an MFLC. 

“Bill is a great asset to our resiliency resources here at Duke Field,” said Capt. Eric Randall, 919th Special Operations Wing. “He has this very welcoming and friendly demeanor and is really easy to talk to which makes him a great addition to the team.”

While at Duke, Scruggs has already visited units educating Airmen on what resources are available to them and providing counselling to Citizen Air Commandos.

“Having an MFLC back in the position is invaluable to resiliency on base,” said Randall. “It’s good for Airmen to have somebody to talk to that is outside of their chain of command. Because he’s not in uniform, you know he’s not after rank or prestige, and he’s a certified counsellor that’s willing to get into the weeds of whatever your problem is.”

Scruggs is located at the Duke Field Chapel with the chaplains and psychological health director where Airmen can find him when he’s not out visiting with members of the Wing.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Scruggs. “I plan to finish my career here. I couldn't think of a better way to wrap up my time in the service.”

Reservists or family members interested in utilizing MFLC resources or counselling can contact Scruggs at (850) 480-3633.