New support group leader wants to give Airmen access to success

  • Published
  • By Gene H. Hughes
  • 908th AW Public Affairs
Having dropped out of college, Patricia Brewer needed something to do, a place to live and a way to support herself.

Seeing some carefully crafted military media messaging changed all that for the Ohio native who recently assumed command of the 908th Mission Support Group.

"Airplanes had always interested me and I always liked the Air Force ads showing a ramp full of planes and clips of the aerial maneuvers so, that's where I went," she said.

She enlisted in 1974 and Palace Chased out to the Ohio Air Guard in 1978. In 1987, the former dropout earned a degree in professional aviation from Louisiana Tech, and is now a colonel in charge of more than 500 Airmen whose mission is to provide peacetime and wartime mission-readiness support of the 908th Airlift Wing.

She said her goal will be to make her command the best it can be, and looks forward to meeting her Airmen and learning about them.

"I want to see what challenges the units have, help them overcome them and seeing the Airmen excel," she said. "It's always satisfying to know you've given the units the tools they need to perform their jobs and to hit new heights."

As a Reservists, Brewer finds the most challenging aspect is explaining "what a Reservist is and what we do" to folks who have no connections to the military.

"Trying to explain what an Air Reserve Technician is equally or even more challenging," she explained. "Many folks have nothing to relate to as far as the military is concerned - so I have to describe my job as something akin to the mayor of a city with folks who fix the roads, the policemen, etc."

Brewer, who said she tries to pick up the habits and nuances that make high-performance officers successful, describes her leadership style as "democratic."

"I look to provide leadership and guidance yet I expect persons to proactively participate in meetings - providing information, pros, cons, and being the naysayer when needed." she said. "MSG is an interactive process."

Brewer said she wants to leave the unit in better standing then when she arrived.

"I always try to ensure folks have access to the information, money and training they need to improve their respective units," she said. "I'm focused at trying to ensure the 908th MSG heads to the top. By knowing what does and doesn't work, and knowing things to try and pitfalls to avoid, makes it much easier to get to the top."