Meet your new leadership: Lt. Col. Jeremy Hooper, 39th MDSS commander
By Staff Sgt. Eboni Reams, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 08, 2014
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
This summer brought in many new faces to Incirlik AB. Many of these Airmen are new squadron commanders, group commanders and even a vice wing commander. To help members of Team Incirlik gain a better understanding of who their leadership is and what their expectations may be, the 39th Air Base Wing public affairs office, is releasing a series of personality features on our new leaders.
Question: Why did you decide to join the Air Force and why do you continue to serve?
Answer: I attended my brother's pilot training graduation at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. I had recently graduated from college and was working for a company in Atlanta, GA. During the graduation ceremony, the guest speaker gave a speech about serving your country. I knew at that moment I had to serve my country like several generations of my family had done by joining the United States military. When I was younger, I thought I didn't want to join the military. I told myself I wanted to do something different from what my grandfathers, father and brother did before me. However, I guess, deep down, even as a kid I knew I was going to eventually join the Air Force, but I had to try something different first. I continue to serve because in my opinion, it is an honor to be part of the United States Air Force and I want to be part of the team as long as I can.
Q: What is one of your proudest achievements in your military career?
A: In 2003, I had just arrived to my second duty station at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. After being there for only two weeks, we were notified that Turkey was conducting a Non-Combant Evacuation to Charleston AFB. We had the opportunity to help Air Force families deal with a difficult time. We helped a lot of military families that week by educating them on how to access medical care upon their return to the states. We met individually with grandparents who met children to ensure they had all the information they needed. I always wondered how the whole evacuation operation worked on the other end. Never did I think that I would be stationed in Turkey, but ironically that is where I am now. And it's great!
Q: Is there a leader from your career that influenced you the most? If so, who, and how did they affect the way you lead?
A: I worked as the executive officer for Maj. Gen. Rank, when she was the Chief Nurse for the Air Force Medial Service. Clearly she was very busy and had a lot on her plate. I admired the way she treated everyone she encountered. She treated everyone with respect no matter their title or rank. She saw people as people. When travelling to do site tours, we had a dedicated driver for one of our visits to a particular base. Rank chatted with our driver who was a Senior Airman, over the couple days he drove us around to various locations. At the end of our visit the Airman told us he had decided to reenlist. Originally, he was planning on doing the opposite, but the time and conversations the general had convinced him to stay in the Air Force. It was a great way to wrap up a trip and the event stuck with me as a reminder to never think we are too important for anyone.
Q: Leaders often face a significant challenge or watershed moment early on in their careers that influence their formation as leaders. Did you have any moments like these that helped shape you into the leader you are today?
A: An Airman I worked with suffered a very tragic event in his life. From the outside it appeared this Airman was handling the situation just fine. Unbeknownst to everyone he was inflicting self-harm and having suicidal thoughts. One day this individual came to me for help and told me that he felt I was approachable, I would not judge, and I would help in anyway possible. I assisted him in getting some help to deal with the tragic event that was consuming his life. I was grateful this individual came forward for help and from that point forward I knew that being an approachable leader is a very important quality.
Q: What is your personal mission statement?
A: Learn from my mistakes and continue to improve.
Q: What values and ethics are the most important you, and what do you expect from your Airmen?
A: Earning respect from other people is very important. If you earn someone else's respect then you must be doing a lot of other things right.
Q: What is your strategic vision for your organization?
A: To continually grow our team to support the group's vision of caring for people and making sure everyone is medically ready. Every individual on the team must be ready to provide the logistical and ancillary support needed to provide quality medical care.
Q: What are your leadership goals as a commander while here at Incirlik?
A: My goal is to help the members of the 39th Medical Support Squadron be the best at helping the wing meet its mission and priorities.
Q: What are some of your expectations for the Airmen you lead and why?
A: Being professionals on and off duty means you are doing the best job you can at work and it shows the rest of the world what stellar Airmen we all are. We should all be revered as being "Pros" in what we do everyday.
Q: What are your mission expectations from the units you lead?
A: Work smarter to get the job done as quickly and as accurately as possible. We are in a very busy and important location. Working effectively and efficient is paramount for the wing to accomplish its mission.