Get to know new Gunfighter vice commander

Col. Bruce M. Smith, 366th Fighter Wing Vice Commander

Col. Bruce M. Smith, 366th Fighter Wing Vice Commander

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Fighter Wing welcomes its new vice commander.

Name: Col. Bruce Smith

Time in Service: 25 years

Hometown: Seattle, Wash.

Family: Wife, Laurie, daughter Karena (23), daughter Marissa, (21), and son Anthony (19)

Biggest challenge faced so far in your Air Force career: Doing more with less, constantly. Seeing good people having to exit the Air Force because of budget constraints and having to be on the end of that to make decisions that could end people's careers.

Person who has had the biggest impact/effect on your life: Personally, my lovely wife. I would not have been able to do any of this without her. My mother comes in a close second because if she didn't drag me to the recruiter when I was a junior in high school I would have never joined! Professionally, I would have to say Lt. Col. Roger Suro. He showed me how to keep my priorities of faith, family and military in order and helped me tremendously lead a great squadron at Randolph AFB, Texas, to great heights!

Work philosophy: I am not a micromanager - I believe people do their best work when they feel they have ownership of the product. I just remain informed so I can help them any time they need it. My philosophy here is to take care of the boss, Colonel Buckley. I want to do what I can do to make his job easier.

Hobbies: Avid golfer and bowler, spending time with my family, love to play poker.

Favorite animal: Dogs -- our dog Abbey is the only child we still have at home!

Most fun moment in Air Force career: The most fun moment of my career so far was watching my daughter get a ride in a T-38 at Randolph -- probably the most fun and the proudest moment.

Favorite food: My wife made these peanut chicken skewers that were the "best meal I had in 25 years of marriage" a few years ago -- but the real answer is anything my wife sets in front of me at the dinner table is my favorite food.

Favorite rank held so far: I am prior enlisted, I have one from each. Sergeant was my favorite enlisted rank (used to be called Buck Sergeant) because you were not an Airman anymore - it felt good to have some responsibility! All officer ranks were good for different reasons. I loved being a lieutenant colonel because I was a squadron commander, and taking care of people has been my most favorite part of being in the Air Force. I was a director of operations before being a squadron commander, but being a commander and adding all the squadron members and families to our family was special.

Blues or Airman Battle Uniform: ABUs right now because I have not worn them yet! I bought them just for this job! I am in a flight suit most of the time.

Hopes for the future: The Air Force has been so great to us. We have had awesome assignments meeting great people and having great jobs. Would love to continue upward mobility and lead again somewhere but if the Air Force has other plans for us we will go where we are needed. Personally, spend time with the family, watch our children continue to grow and develop, and hopefully expand our family with some grand children some day (not soon!).

What song is most like the theme of your life: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. You have to hold on to that feeling. "Oh the movie never ends it goes on and on and on and on..." -- and like the movie, our careers continue to go on and on, and we don't stop believing that great things will happen - the Air Force continues to be a Journey for us!

Why did you join the Air Force: Because I needed to do something other than school. Plus my mom said I had too!

Motto to live by: "Do the things that only you can do" - Meaning don't do others jobs for them, don't micro manage. Let them do their thing and concentrate on doing the things only you can do because no one else can. "Do the best job you can with the job you have!" Don't worry about the next job, or the one after that. And finally, take care of your boss and ensure you never do anything or let anything get by that could surprise him at a meeting.

What do you hope to achieve at MHAFB: I want to help any way I can and do what I can to take this wing, base and its servicemembers and families to new heights!

(Editor's note: For Colonel Smith's complete biography, go to http://www.mountainhome.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=14742.)