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April 20, 2012

452 AMW commander sheds eagles for stars

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Master Sgt. Linda Welz
452 AMW public affairs
120414-F-EQ386-011
Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, 452d Air Mobility Wing commander, smiles at his mother-in-law, Jerry Clayman, as she and his wife, Jill, pin stars on his epaulets during the general's promotion ceremony at March Field, Sat., Apr. 14, 2012. The event, attended by Team March members, community leaders and his friends and family, came two months late because McGregor was deployed during his February promotion. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Linda Welz)

Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, 452d Air Mobility Wing commander, March Air Reserve Base, was joined by friends, family, community and military leaders, Team March members and a couple of birds performing an unplanned flyover for an official pinning on ceremony.

The event, held in the KC-135 PE Hangar, was scheduled for April 14 because he was deployed during his effective February 17 pin-on date.

Maj. Gen. Wade Farris, 22d Air Force commander and the presiding officer, said McGregor began his career as an enlisted helicopter mechanic or “sweaty,” before becoming a flight engineer, then a pilot. He lauded McGregor for his work as operations and training manager at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and after hiring McGregor as operations group commander at Westover AFB, Mass., discovered they have two different (management) styles.

“I’m laid back. Karl is the Energizer Bunny,” Farris said. “He has more energy than three people and knows how to get things done.”

Farris said McGregor surrounded himself with others who know how to get things done and while at Westover, showed he could run a big operation. As a result, he sent McGregor to fill the wing commander position at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio.

Citing McGregor’s past performance reports, Farris said McGregor was referred to as a “fount of energy” and that he “needs cloning.”

“He’s not a fount. He’s the Niagara Falls of energy and I’m not sure AFRC could stand two or three Karls running around,” he jokingly said.

Although McGregor was named the number one commander in Fourth Air Force, he still needs support, Farris said, which he receives from everyone in attendance.

After the physical pinning on portion of the ceremony, Farris turned the microphone over to McGregor who said it was a seminal moment for him and a long, long 36 years to get to this point in his career.

“I’ve been fortunate to have supervisors who gave me second and third chances to fail and succeed,” he said.

Recalling an incident in Del Rio, Texas in 1985, McGregor said he was in a T-38 flying a pattern solo and pulling extremely tight patterns so the four-star on the ground couldn’t take off. He succeeded in delaying the general’s take off by more than 30 minutes and as a result, McGregor was ordered to land. He remembers his flight commander yelling at the “lynching party” that reprimanding McGregor was the commander’s job, not theirs.

“I learned a lot from those two to three moments of terror,” he said. “It’s okay for leadership to kick your butt, but ONLY the leadership.”

He said one could impact another’s career positively or negatively with just a few words and supervisors should let their folks know if their subordinates are doing a good job or may need correction to do better. He encouraged supervisors to stay away from micromanagement and let staff members do their jobs.

McGregor continued to thank those who helped him during his tour at March.

“The 452d has been my support system since I got here,” he said. “The tenants are really great partners. The community is family and are great base supporters.”

McGregor thanked his vice commander, Col. Mary Aldrian, for stepping up during his deployment as well as his group commanders.

“This is possibly the best wing I’ve ever been in if it’s based on the people and their dedication and support,” he said. “You are all head and shoulders above the rest.”

Just as he finished that statement, the two black crows in attendance flew across the inside of the large hangar as if right on cue, one of them crowed loudly, “Caw! Caw!”

McGregor’s response to the interruption: “It’s my fly by.”

Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, 452d Air Mobility Wing commander, stands at attention as his sons, Keegan (left) and Kolin pin stars on his epaulets during the general’s promotion ceremony at March Field, Sat., Apr. 14, 2012. The event, attended by Team March members, community leaders and his friends and family, came two months late because McGregor was deployed during his February promotion.




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