Meet your leadership: Lt. Col. Erin McDonald 39th CS commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Question: Why did you decide to join the Air Force and why do you continue to serve?

Answer: I joined Air Force ROTC so that I could fly. Fortunately, that didn't work out and I became a communications officer. I have thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity the Air Force has given me. I continue to serve because I love what I do, I am having fun doing it and I feel I can still contribute to the Air Force's mission to fly, fight and win--in air, space and cyberspace.

Q: What is one of your proudest achievements in your military career?

A: Without question taking over of as commander of the high speed Airmen in the 39th Communications Squadron. Becoming a commander has been a career long goal of mine and I now have that opportunity.

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 can't narrow it down to just one leader. I have had several phenomenal leaders in my career who have helped me become the leader I am today. I was able to learn from them both in ways of leading our Airmen. I have tried to utilize the good traits of these leaders and incorporate that into my leadership style.

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: My moment has to be Sept 11, 2001. I spent that day at the Pentagon providing communications to the National Military Command Center. That experience provided me an insight into our national leaders that most Americans don't have an opportunity to see and it showed me how they led our nation through adversity.

Q: What is your personal mission statement?

A: To be good enough is not enough when you dream of being great

Q: What values and ethics are the most important you, and what do you expect from your Airmen?

Of course the core values of the Air Force are important to me and I expect each of my Airmen live by those same values. I feel the citizens of the United States expect all of us to make sound and moral judgments. We as Airmen are held to a higher standard than John Q. public and we have a responsibility to live up to that and enforce the higher standard.

Q: What is your strategic vision for your organization?

A: My strategic vision for 39th CS is to provide the best communications to the Incirlik populace so that we all can fulfill the 39th Air Base Wing's priorities of Combat Readiness, Strengthen the Alliance, Enhance Quality of Life for Airmen and their families and Shape a sustainable future for Team Incirlik and our community.

Q: What are your leadership goals as a commander while here at Incirlik?

A: To continue building upon what Lt. Col. (James) Skelton has done and ensure that when I leave in two years the next commander has an even better squadron than when I got here.

Q:  What are some of your expectations for the Airmen you lead, and why?

My expectation for the Airmen I lead is to do their very best at servicing the Hodja Nation. I feel that we have a responsibility here in the 39th CS to provide top-notch customer service to our all of users. Communications at Incirlik are one of the pillars that allow us to continue our mission not only here in Turkey, but around the world.
Q: What are your mission expectations from the units you lead?

A: I expect that the men and women of 39 CS will bend over backwards to ensure we are supporting to furthest extent possible the 39th ABW Vision, Mission and Priorities.