Civil Air Patrol

Air National Guard Commander visits Madison Composite Squadron

MADISON, Wis. – Col. Erik Peterson, Commander of the 115th Fighter Wing – ANG, addressed members of the Madison Composite Squadron at their last meeting in May speaking on his leadership style and military experience.

Col. Peterson is a combat pilot with more than 2,300 flying hours in the F-16 C/D, AT-38A, T-38A and T-37B. He has served in an assortment of roles including Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Commander, Group Commander, and Vice Wing Commander before assuming his current position last Fall.

“You need to ask yourself,” Col. Peterson said, “’What is my mission?’ Then you need to communicate that to everyone in your organization and know how they fit that mission.” Col. Peterson envisions a unit commander as a team leader. The team leader is first and foremost a part of that team working toward a common goal – accomplishing the mission. The key ingredient to the team is trust. “The most important thing you can do as a leader is have integrity. Your people need to trust you.” Being an officer who has led troops into combat, he knows what he’s talking about.

Before wrapping up, Col. Peterson shared what he considers to be three traits of a good leader: be credible, be humble, and be approachable.

Colonel Erik Peterson, Commander of the 115th Fighter Wing, ANG

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