Spotlight: Chief Master Sgt. Eric Hagedorn

  • Published
  • By SrA Brittany Morelock
  • 301st Fighter Wing

Q: How long have you been with the 301st?

A:  I was the Reserve Superintendent in the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Now, I’ve now moved into the 301 FW Project Integration Office for the F-35. I’ve been with the 301st for almost 29 years. This has been my only unit, which I’m very proud of.

Q: What did you want to do as a kid?

A:  I played a lot of baseball… all the way into college. I grew up in Kentucky and spent many summers farming with my cousin until my parents and I moved to Texas in 1980. I look forward to running some cattle and light farming again.

Q: Why did you join the military?

A:  I’ve been around aviation most of my life. My stepfather worked for American Airlines and I worked for Delta Air Lines for 23 years. I wanted to serve in the Air Force back in high school, but I waited a bit to get some college classes under my belt before joining. I followed the F-16 for many years prior to joining; see Iron Eagle!  It was great timing because I came in as the aircraft transitioned from the F-4 to the F-16 Fighting Falcon here at Carswell AFB 1989-1990.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

A:  The best part of serving is working with many great professional warriors over the years. I grew up at the 301st, so seeing Airmen growing up over the years and having been a part of their lives has made it special for me. When Chief Dennis Walter promoted me, I was truly humbled. There weren’t many Reserve Chief’s in the Air Force Reserve Command, so I was one of firsts that I can remember.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: I retired from Delta Air Lines in 2008, where I was working in the training department and project management. Around the same time, I finished my Bachelors in Criminal Justice and subsequently a Masters in Emergency Management. I worked part time as an adjunct instructor teaching Terrorism, Criminal Justice and several other undergrad courses at a local college while picking up several projects in the wing’s maintenance group. I am thinking of starting a Doctorate program in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination, while learning Russian to possibly teach again or get a position in another government agency.

Currently, I have transitioned to the F-35 Project Integration Office, supporting MXG and the wing in the early stages of the F-35 potential bed down program.

I am excited to be a part of this transition from F-16’s to the F-35A Lightning II and look forward to seeing this come to fruition. 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A:  I am an avid gardener and mighty fine cook! My specialty is Barbeque, but I can cook a variety of dishes. 

Q: What is something people might not know about you?

A: I sang gospel music as a teen alongside my stepfather’s quartet. I had considered the intelligence career field before choosing weapons loading when I joined the Air Force. I have four children, KC – 30, Abby – 25, and twin girls Elaina and Lily – 11.    

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve used in your military career? Be DUCT TAPE! Raise your hand for every project you can. Build experience and take advantage of wearing this uniform while serving with a warrior’s ethos. You will have your ups and downs so surround yourself with smart people. Never forget, a Chief succeeds when their Airmen succeeds!

Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’ve been blessed with working with great Airmen that are doing great things for the mission, their communities, and families each and every day. Remember to take care of yourself, each other, and the mission!

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