Col. Marc Packler is the new 375th Communications Group commander.
The 375th Communications Group provides command, control, communications and computer support to the 375th Air Mobility Wing and its 31 mission partners. The group consists of two squadrons, a direct-reporting section and resource advisors, with more than 938 military and civilian personnel who help direct, control and enhance the command and control capabilities for Scott AFB.
What led you to join the Air Force?
Growing up and seeing stories about children living in other countries without the freedoms and rights we have in America, I wanted to make sure I did my part to secure a world where my children would have the same opportunities I had.
When did you decide you wanted to become an officer?
I knew I wanted to go to the University of Alabama. Once I realized I wanted to be in the military, I decided the best way to join would be to go through ROTC and serve as an officer.
Was there a specific goal in mind when you became an officer?
My goal was to be a combat communications squadron commander. I joined the Air Force to work in tactical communications, to deploy around the world and set up communications in the most austere environments. I learned about combat communications, so I believed the dream job would be a combat communications squadron commander.
What is your favorite Air Force memory?
The best memory outside of being a commander working hand-in-hand with Airmen was in ROTC in 1992. I carried the American Flag at the Alabama vs. Auburn (Iron Bowl) with my family and grandparents in the stands watching. To add on, we were undefeated that year and won the national championship.
What can your Airmen expect from you?
Dedication and enthusiasm for their families and their mission, and a commitment to ensure I will do all I can to give them the time they need to focus on both.
What do you expect from the Airmen?
Dedication and enthusiasm for their families and their mission and a commitment to giving the time needed to be the best they can be in both areas.
What advice would you give Airmen?
If you take care of people, the people will take care of the mission...and if you take care of yourself, you will be able to take care of your piece of the mission.
What do you look forward to the most?
Since I have been out of traditional Air Force organizations in joint positions the last three years, I am most excited at being around Airmen again and seeing the amazing things they will accomplish.
Do you have a leadership philosophy?
I carry forward the leadership philosophy I learned from one of my previous squadron commanders that I have adapted through the years to fit my own style. It was printed as below in the Barksdale AFB newspaper:
Family refers to an Airman’s immediate family, spouse, children, mother, father, sisters and brother. However, family also extends to the extended family—the unit, the group and the wing. In order to be on top of their game all the time, Airmen must know their family is in good hands and well taken care of. This allows individuals to be prepared to conduct our mission. Airmen must take the time needed to ensure their family's support infrastructure is in place.
This includes housing, schools, transportation, medical and nutrition. Take the time to set up the appropriate infrastructure. You do your family, yourself and unit absolutely no good if they are not adequately provided for.
Fitness does not merely refer to physical fitness. In today’s military environment, where each and every person has to be ready to deploy, Airmen must have physical, mental and spiritual fitness. With the emphasis on physical fitness by the CSAF, I expect Airmen to take the time to stay physically fit—it’s important to be physically fit so you can perform our physically demanding mission at home and abroad.
Mental fitness includes professional and personal education required to meet mission needs as well as career enhancement. Taking a break to re-energize yourself is important as well—with more deployments it’s essential to take time off from the job. Spiritual fitness involves doing what it takes to nurture your spiritual well-being. This could be attending church, synagogue, attending or teaching school or just meditating privately.
Flying represents whatever your mission is within the Air Force. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to and support the mission, whether in air, space or cyberspace domains. Again, our specific contribution is to provide the most reliable and responsive communications to the warfighters, anytime, anywhere.
Fairness is essential to good order and discipline within the unit. We must eliminate our personal feelings, prejudices and desires to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests. The question one should ask is: “Would I make the same decision if it were my brother or sister?” I believe you must be impartial, unbiased, dispassionate and objective when making a decision.
In today’s expeditionary environment, with stressors like long hours, it is more essential now than ever to have fun. The job is easier if we are having fun on the job, as well as having fun as unit. This includes get-togethers, intramural sports and unit events.
How do you feel about being at Scott AFB?
I love being at Scott AFB; I was here in 2005-07. I have great memories with my family and members of the Air Force Communications Agency, and I look forward to building new great memories with the team of Airmen who are here today.