Leadership Log interview with Lt. Col. Oyunchimeg ‘Meg’ Young (PODCAST)

  • Published
  • By Joe Danielewicz, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFLCMC) - In March 2024, Lt. Col. Oyunchimeg ‘Meg’ Young was named AFLCMC’s Field Grade Officer of the Year for her work during 2023. The award recognized her achievements as Director of Operations for the Europe and NATO branch within the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate. Young won the award as a major and was promoted to lieutenant colonel at the end of 2023.

In this “Leadership Log” podcast, we speak with Young about her path to joining the Air Force, her work at AFSAC and explore her teamwork philosophy. 

Flightpath to the Air Force
As Young explains, she grew up in then-Communist Mongolia, eventually moving to the U.S. for college.

While studying in Hawaii, she says she was contacted by the Department of Defense to work as a linguist and to support the Mongolian Minister of Defense’s first visit to the U.S. 

“I did not know anything about [the] military, not just the U.S. military, but Mongolian military as well,” she recalled in the podcast discussion. “I was very, very blessed that, and they contacted me early enough that I had time to get some sort of a fire hose training,” to learn about the military, its rank structure and related items. 
With exposure to two militaries, a completed degree and new U.S. citizenship, joining the Air Force became a possibility. Young’s Air Force recruiter told her with her business and engineering education she’d likely work in the acquisition field. She officially joined in 2009.

Air Force Career
Since commissioning, Young has served as a Foreign Area Officer with an emphasis on acquisition-related work. She’s been deployed twice to Afghanistan, studied at the Naval Postgraduate School and joined the AFSAC team.

While Young’s title is Director of Operations for the Europe and NATO Branch, she describes her role as primarily taking care of her people and “catching all of the tasks and duties that come [and] that doesn’t fit any box or bracket.”

“One day I might be getting everything together for an all-call and making sure everything is set for a morale event,” Young explained. “ And then the next day I could be working on some crazy urgent tasker for Ukraine.” 

Part of her AFSAC work involves foreign military sales (FMS), though Young approaches the task from a non-business approach. “We [are] providing foreign military sales to our partner nations, but we are not making profit out of it, but we are building that relationship,” she said in the podcast. “We are ensuring that we are interoperable and we can collaborate when and if needed, right? So that's our purpose.”

While discussing the multi-year nature of some acquisition projects, Young reflected on what serving in the career field has given her and its collaborative nature.

“You cannot get everything done on your own. You need an engineer, the contracting officer, the finance officer, logistics, all that,” she continued. “You work as a team. And I have been very fortunate that throughout my career, [there have been] great team members wherever I have been.”

“The biggest reward is the team I get to work with, because in the acquisition world, especially, you don't work by yourself.”

To hear the full conversation, watch above or on YouTube. You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.