Key Spouse Prepares Service Members, their Families for Deployments

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shelby Thurman
  • 908th Airlift Wing

(Editor's Note: This is the 4th article of a 5 part series on 908th Airlift Wing Key Spouses)

Cynthia McGill is the 908th Maintenance Group Key Spouse and has been since 2014. As a Key Spouse, she said she wanted to ensure that military members and their families are prepared for deployment life.

McGill is also a master sergeant with the 908th MXG’s Programs and Mobility unit. Being in the military for 28 years, as well as having both a spouse and her children deploy, gave her an advantage when it came to helping others prepare for deployments. She says that her own military experience has given her plenty of insight on how to help service members and their families.

The California-native has been nominated for Key Spouse of the Year. McGill was nominated because she believes that being caring is one of the most important characteristics for a Key Spouse to have.

“You have to care about what happens to our military members and their families,” said McGill.

Another part of being a Key Spouse is to have the motivation to be a self-starter. McGill said Key Spouses must be willing to search for resources and training opportunities for service members and their families.

McGill also added that it is vital for every unit to have a Key Spouse program. She said that is especially important for Reservists because many of their families are either not local or not familiar with military life.

“It is important that they receive information that may be beneficial to them such as medical and educational benefits,” she said.

By reaching out to the community and helpful organizations, Key Spouses can find resources and activities for service members’ children and other family. There is also an abundance of online training opportunities and career information available to them as well.

McGill is married to Chief Master Sgt. Michael McGill, 908th Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. They currently live in Wetumpka, Alabama. They have four children, two grandchildren and two dogs.

The Key Spouse volunteer position is open to any spouse or partner of a service member. They must be willing to volunteer and serve military families by becoming a resource and support system in conjunction with the Airman and Family Readiness Department.

If interested in becoming a Key Spouse volunteer, contact 908th AW Key Spouse Mentor, Tina Harstad, at