WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – After more than 30 years of service to the Air Force and nation, Col. Teresa Quick, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center vice Commander will retire Nov. 16.
A career acquisition expert, Quick has held leadership positions in program offices supporting some of the most important platforms in the Air Force fleet, including the F-22, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F-16, B-1 and B-52.
During her time as Vice Commander, Quick promoted innovation initiatives and was a key advocate of leadership development programs for the junior acquisition force.
“Col. Quick was a mentor to thousands of Airmen and civilians a like,” said Lt. Col.Jeffrey Hamblin, director of the AFLCMC Rapid Capability Cell. “During her time as Vice Commander, she focused on innovation transformation, critical thinking and speed of delivery to our war fighters. Her contributions will be sorely missed!”
During a recent interview Quick reflected on her time in AFLCMC.
Q: As Vice Commander what do you think have been some of your biggest accomplishments?
A: Two things. One, further maturing the Center as a life cycle organization and really trying to create all of the tools and assistance for the program offices to be able to do their mission to the best of their ability. The second one is my involvement on the military acquisition development team. It was tremendously rewarding and part of the reason why we started the Advanced Tactical Acquisition Corps program also known as ATAC [leadership development program for junior acquisition professionals]. We also started SALT or Strategic Acquisition Leadership Team for mid-level acquisition professionals. It has been rewarding to create these programs for the acquisition professionals that will follow in my footsteps eventually.
Q: What will you miss the most about being an Airman?
A: I think it’s a tossup between the people and the mission. I love the people that I work with. I’ve enjoyed the friendships. I’ve met people from all walks of life that I probably wouldn’t have “crossed paths” with if we hadn’t been in uniform. I really love the mission. Often someone will come up to me and say thanks for your service and my response has become “it’s my privilege,” because I really do consider it to be a privilege to serve. Especially having lived overseas during the Cold War and working in foreign military sale, we are really blessed to live in this country.
Q: What has been some of your biggest challenges as Vice Commander and throughout your career?
A: There’s never enough time and never enough people. It’s really a balance. How do you balance getting the job done with asking your folks to go back to school, and get their degree or do PME [professional military education]? When you get asked to do the impossible, how do you motivate a team to believe that they can do it? I find that incredibly challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding when you can achieve it. The best things we do are when we pull together from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives – this collective approach to problem solving is what makes us such a strong military.
Q: Over the years, what has been your leadership philosophy?
A: My philosophy is to take care of the people, keep your word, and follow through. Think beyond yourself and through the consequences of your decisions. It may be hard to see the solution in the beginning so believe in yourself, believe in your team, and believe that you can do it.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add.
A: I’m incredibly proud of our workforce and the work they do every day. I think that all of my work with mentoring, and coaching, and working with ATAC, and SALT, and the workforce development teams, have just reinforced for me that we have tremendous talent in our workforce and we are in good hands. I look forward to seeing where that new crop of leaders takes us, because I think it’s going to be pretty remarkable.