Airman recounts road from MTI to LRS commander
By Senior Airman Alexandria Lee, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 09, 2019
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Most Airmen look back at their basic training experience and remember a variety of things, but most never forget their military training instructor, fortunately for 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, they have their own personal one keeping the squadron united and effective.
Maj. Anthony LaMagna, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, has experienced many career fields during his nearly two decade career in the Air Force, and all of them have shaped him into the commander he is today.
“My ability to lead, follow and embrace teamwork all grew even as an older Airman,” LaMagna said. “I realized how much developmental skills and lessons the Air Force had given me and I wanted to give back, and MTI duties broaden my capabilities, and it made me better.”
“Trust is a huge core value to me - from supervisor to subordinate, to commander to squadron, trust has to be there. To build trust, it is key to explain your vision, your expectation and delegate to see it through. Airmen don’t need me, I need them. I can’t do my job without them. I depend on my squadron to make it happen.”
Lt. Col. Paul Weme, 100th Maintenance Squadron commander, shared his thoughts on LaMagna’s leadership skills.
“LaMagna is the quintessential Air Force officer,” Weme said. “His approach as a leader is one that always requires high standards and determination because he understands his squadron as prior enlisted, and he has a shared perspective with his unit.”
“He has an understanding of the enlisted core, what they are working through and how they see and perceive their leaders. He knows the expectations of his Airmen, the responsibility they put on their leadership, and he tries to meet and exceed their expectations.”
LaMagna believes leadership is more than being in charge, and being an officer is more than rank.
“‘Walking with the Warriors’ is so important to me because a lot of times, Airmen only see their commander when they get rewarded or reprimanded,” LaMagna said. “I don’t want that to be the case for my people, that’s why we all get out from behind our desk and interact with our Airmen, once a week from leadership on down. I want to see them, and we can learn from each other. Nothing beats sincerity.”
Airman 1st Class Jaquavius Johnson, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management journeyman, agrees.
“Whenever I interact with Major LaMagna he always greets me with a smile, a handshake and always ask me about my day,” Johnson said. “It’s a small thing, but to me it makes a difference. I feel welcomed. I feel like that’s the responsibility of every commander to get to know their squadron. It’s a little thing, but to me those are the things that matter.”
LaMagna has had his fair number of trials and tribulations. From coming in as an older Airman to losing family members; he overcame personal barriers and struggles throughout his career.
“During my career, I had the opportunity to work for a civilian company. It was a wonderful opportunity, but with that came hard times,” LaMagna said. “My wife and I lost several family members during that time. Our military family truly helped us to get through that hard time, and we learned that when you let people in they can help you in more ways than one.”
Throughout his commission, he handles new trials as he did before; working as a team, with his team – from the youngest Airman to senior enlisted.
“The men and women of the 100th LRS are trusted and empowered from top to bottom,” LaMagna said. “As an MTI, we trained the basic fundamentals of military service in the Air Force, but the approach we take as commanders is far different. We lead a total force that is trained and dedicated to executing the mission, leading the people, managing resources and improving the unit.
“I still pinch myself. We are beyond thankful for the opportunity and trust the Air Force has given us. My enlisted time was amazing and gave me a foundation they don’t have to outrank you to teach you.”