Meet the 325th Maintenance Group commander: Col. Jacqueline M. Mongeon
By Senior Airman Christopher Reel, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 08, 2014
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Opportunities laid as stepping stones, led one military brat down a path that earned her wings. She pinned on full bird colonel in February, and now, Col. Jacqueline M. Mongeon is the new commander of the 325th Maintenance Group.
Mongeon began her military career just after high school. Although, her family always thought her older sister would be the one to pursue the military.
"When I was in high school, I decided to apply for the Air Force Academy," said Mongeon. "I got in. At the time, I didn't know what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be. When I got there, I learned I was too short to fly; and a chief introduced me to the maintenance field. Though I didn't know much about the job, I did know to do the best job you can do. And one thing led to another."
Upon graduating at the academy, she obtained an assignment to Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Since then, she's had more than a dozen assignments.
"I've enjoyed every assignment I've been given because of the people," Mongeon said. "Even if it wasn't an ideal location, it didn't matter. It's the people that make an assignment."
As she progressed through her Air Force career, it was the people and the mission she put first.
"I put my focus on the people," she said. "My goal is to make sure they have the tools to do their job well. If we take care of people, the rest will take care of itself."
She will continue that mindset here at the maintenance group.
"I look forward to getting to know the people," Mongeon said. "And I'm excited to be part of the mission. With all the changes that have transpired here transitioning to a combat coded base, it's an exciting time to be stationed at Tyndall.
"So much has developed over the last year or so and Team Tyndall is still pressing forward, and that's important," added Mongeon. "It's such an exciting time for the maintenance group with the standup of the 95th Fighter Squadron and 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. We will continue to build the cohesiveness between us and the fighter squadron."
Maintainers are the behind the scenes crew that ensure the mission gets completed and the jets are in the sky.
"I wish everyone had the opportunity to see the initiative and ingenuity maintainers have," she said. "They are a smart group of individuals. They identify their challenges and figure out how to overcome them. My advice for our group is to remember the fundamentals and to do it right the first time. Work smarter not harder."
Maintainers have brilliant ideas, she explained.
"I'm excited to hear their thoughts and ideas on how to work more efficiently for the success of the mission," Mongeon added.
When she is not at work, she enjoys working on her house or traveling.
"I generally like to spend my downtime doing home improvements," said Mongeon. "But, since I'll be living on base, I won't be able to do too much. So, I plan to spend my spare time traveling.
"The best assignment I had for traveling was when I was stationed in Germany," she added. "There is so much scenery and history there. Germany is also a central location to some amazing places. I was able to travel to Normandy, France and walk the beaches where so much history occurred."
Though Tyndall's location on the Panhandle doesn't have lush mountains flecked with castles, it is outlined with white sandy beaches, emerald green waters and is centrally located to many major cities.
"I think the first place I want to visit is New Orleans (Louisiana)," said Mongeon. "I've always wanted to go there. There's so much history and so much to see."
She never had the opportunity to go when she was stationed at Barksdale.
"But, all-in-all, I'm just happy to be here and look forward to building those relationships," she added.