Vice commander bids farewell
30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 08, 2014
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- After more than two years serving as vice commander of the 30th Space Wing and Western Range at VAFB, Col. Brent McArthur begins a new chapter in his life - outside the military.
Before departing, McArthur agreed to answer a few questions for the 30th SW Public Affairs office, about his experience leading Team-V.
Q: What will your next adventure be?
A: I'm heading to a little town called Gilbert, Arizona. I'll take what I've learned in the Air Force and become the CEO for a charter school company and continue to be an ambassador for the Air Force.
Q: How would you sum-up your time at VAFB?
A: It's been wonderful and exciting. It's been a great place for my family to live. We love the weather, the people and the mission. It's a bonus that I'm ending my career at the first place I started. When I graduated OTS I spent several months here going through missile training.
Q: What has been your greatest challenge as the vice commander?
A: The vice commander position poses unique challenges because you're not in command like the wing commander is. You're here to support him or her in their role leading the men and women of the wing. You have to balance advising while still understanding your role as the vice commander.
Q: What were some leadership challenges considering Vandenberg's primary mission?
A: I don't know that it's been a challenge because everyone's so dedicated. It's like being the conductor of an orchestra. You have lots of different instruments but in order to make quality music, everyone has to be on the same sheet, following the same tempo and following the conductor. In order to make the music its best we all have to be synchronized and harmonized. Watching a launch happen is the culmination of that, and it's very cool to see it all play out.
Q: How do you think your experience here will help you in your future endeavors?
A: It will help me in multiple ways. Number one is the core values, which I grew up on in our Air Force. In fact, when I was looking for employment after the Air Force one of the criteria I established was it had to be a company that believed in integrity, service and being excellent in everything they do. In addition, this base is like a small town with a multitude of organizations. From a leadership perspective, it's exposed me to multiple facets of business which has prepared me to go into the private sector. The leadership we use in the Air Force is the same leadership the private sector is looking for.
Q: What would your advice be to your replacement?
A: Trust your people and treat them exactly as you would want to be treated. We have high standards, but treat them like they're fellow teammates. Rank is something we have designed to help us maintain discipline and good order, but it doesn't make us better than anybody. We're all humans and we should treat each other with respect, both in the way we communicate and the way we discipline. I'd also say enjoy the time you have here. We're in one of the most beautiful places in the country, and if you're only focused on the work and you're not appreciating the magnificence of this location - I think you're missing something.
Q: What would your final words be to the members of VAFB?
A: Thank you for making me proud to be part of Team Vandenberg, for treating me like a brother and treating my family with dignity and respect. In the end I won't say goodbye but - until we meet again.