Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. --
Lt. Col. Michael Kruk took command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron from Lt. Col. Otto Mattox, June 13, 2018, on Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
Col. Lorenzo Bradley, 460th Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony and transferred the guidon from Mattox to Kruk, symbolizing the official change of command.
As part of their arrival, each new commander is asked a series of questions to show Team Buckley their personality. Here’s Kruk’s First Five:
Q: What kind of legacy do you hope to leave at this assignment?
A: I’m looking forward to establishing the 11th Space Warning Squadron Knights more than anything else. Because the Knights are so new, the 11 SWS just got stood up 18 months ago, I think we’re really at that point where we’re still trying to establish ourselves and build ourselves a culture. If I wanted to establish any kind of legacy, it would be a legacy where the Knights are recognized for excellence and are recognized for their contributions to the mission as a whole.
Q: What three characteristics make a good leader?
A: Compassion is definitely the one on top. We have to embrace that our young Airmen are people growing up and that they will make mistakes. How they react and how leadership reacts can help them overcome those mistakes. You have to have compassion for your folks, and you have to understand them to get in their shoes, so to speak.
Discipline, we’re military members, so this one has to be a part of what we do. We’ve taken a solemn oath to be the leaders in our country, to make contributions and to sacrifice. So people always have to realize that they are part of the U.S. Military and need to conduct themselves and adhere to the core values of excellence, integrity and service before self. We really need to embrace that.
The ability to listen, that’s the last thing. The ability to take in information to connect to people and then react, so it goes hand in hand with the other two.
Q: Which one of those characteristics do you think you embody the most?
A: Quite honestly, I love listening. I love to hear peoples’ stories, I love to hear about their family and what their hobbies are. I love listening to people.
Q: What’s your favorite band?
A: Honestly, I love all kinds of music. Believe it or not, in my car I have the soundtrack to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” because it’s a mix of old folks’ songs and sort of new stuff, it’s kind of revivalist. The reason I like it, the reason I’m stuck in this time where I’m listening to older stuff now is because it brings me back to when I would be in the car with my parents, that was what they would be listening to. I love that because my daughters get to hear oldies and they love it and they’re building up a passion and an interest in that old music and I think that’s awesome.
Q: Is there a show that you’ve been binging recently?
A: I just watched all of the “Game of Thrones” episodes. Now I’m caught up. Believe it or not, my three little girls and I also binged the whole “Dragon Ball” series. I grew up in Japan and I wanted to share that with them and my love for anime, so we watched all of the “Dragon Ball” series and that took longer than “Game of Thrones”. I think we spent a month doing that because it was over 90 DVDs.