Minneapolis, St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station Minn. (Vocus) June 17, 2010
Chief Master Sgt. Mark Koenig was selected June 6 as the new command chief for the 934th Airlift Wing by Col. Darrell G. Young, 934th AW commander.
Chief Koenig, the superintendent of the 440th Operations Group, joins the wing from the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
If the name rings a bell for some at the 934th AW, it could just be because Chief Koenig was also part of the 440th AW when it was located in Milwaukee, Wis.
The 30-year Air Force veteran leaves the North Carolina unit as not only the operations group superintendent, but also the acting command chief. Having spent his career in operations, the chief said his interest and knowledge goes far beyond the scope of the operations world and coming from the once-based Milwaukee unit, he has had a lot of interaction with the 934th AW over the years.
“I’m a career ops guy, but I have been outside and done things outside of ops for my entire career,” said Chief Koenig, who, while working as an acting command chief, had involvement around the base with various councils and programs.
Colonel Young said Chief Koenig’s experience fell right into line with what he was looking for in terms of energy and enthusiasm to bring a new dimension to the wing in mentoring and career development.
“I was looking for someone with a broad breadth of experience, someone who was passionate, and someone who took mentoring very seriously,” said Colonel Young. “The biggest thing was finding someone who I felt could mentor our enlisted force and help them achieve their success. I wanted someone who could develop the enlisted force, but also assist the junior officers in their development as well.
Colonel Young said that in addition to the mentoring and career development, he was also looking for someone who could lead by example and someone who was very professional and was up to date with customs and courtesies to bring an edge to the job with a lot of energy.
“I got to work with the chief’s counsel, the first sergeants, and just got out there and beat the bushes,” said Chief Koenig. “I worked PEP [promotions for exceptional performers] packages, Airman of the quarter and some of the semi-annual programs.”
Because Chief Koenig did not want to uproot his Wisconsin-based family, he decided to not follow the 440th AW to N.C. other than as a traditional Reservist, which created the opportunity for him to work as the acting command chief and discover he had a passion for the job.
“I found it very rewarding,” said Chief Koenig. “and I thought if another opportunity comes up nearby, I am going to put in for it. So when a position opened up at Minneapolis, I thought, ‘What the heck, it’s right in my back yard. I still have the fire in my belly, and I will try for it’.”
Chief Koenig replaces Chief Master Sgt. Robert Cluka, who retired in May.
“We’re happy to have [Chief Koenig],” said Colonel Young. “It was a very tough selection process, because there were a lot of highly talented people who applied, so it was tough to come to that decision. Not one of them would have been a bad decision, but [Chief Koenig] was the best decision we could have made. We are looking forward to working with him.”
By Tech. Sgt. Scott Farley
934th AW Public Affairs contributing writer
934th AIRLIFT WING OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS (AIR FORCE RESERVE COMMAND)
760 Military Highway, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, MN 55450-2100
Telephone: (612) 713-1217 Fax: (612) 713-1229 DSN Prefix: 783