Rescue wing welcomes new top enlisted leader

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice
  • 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
Time, team and tough – these are the goals of the 920th Rescue Wing’s newly appointed top enlisted leader, Command Chief Master Sgt. Douglas Isaacks.

Isaacks, who carries more than 18 years of pararescue experience, officially took over as command chief Aug. 6, after having served as the 920th Operations Group superintendent since September 2015.

“There were a lot of great candidates for the position,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th RQW commander. “His style of leadership and unique skills are exactly what the 920th Rescue Wing needs at this time in our history. Chief Isaacks has my full trust and confidence, as he exemplifies Mission-Focused-Servant-Leadership. I am very excited to have him on the wing leadership team.”

Isaacks echoed the commander’s enthusiasm about his new position.

“I’m honored to be able to serve the wing as command chief,” said Isaacks. “The 920th is one of the most dynamic, family-oriented, and mission-focused organizations I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of, and I’m excited to get started.”

The San Antonio, Texas, native said he has big plans for the wing, all of which align with the 920th RQW commander’s priorities and originate with the three T’s: time, team and tough.

“My first goal is time, not tasks,” he said. “That means finding ways to do things smarter and more efficiently so that we can give as much time back to the units as we can.”

Next, on the list is team.

“It’s team, not teams, so being unified and cohesive, but not having ‘clicks’ within the organization,” he said. “We need to work together as one to accomplish the mission most effectively.”

Finally, he wants to focus on toughness.

“I believe in the philosophy of tough, not just fit,” he said. “Being fit is important, but there’s so much more to it than that. The tactical lifecycle of a military member necessitates tough, resilient Airmen. As a rescue organization, we must continue to forge toughness by ensuring we train like we fight at every opportunity.”

Isaacks entered the Air Force in May 1993 as a security forces specialist and later retrained into rescue after a recruitment campaign came to his home station of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in 1998.

He worked in the active duty rescue community for just over 10 years before crossing into the Air Force Reserve in March 2009. He served as the 308th Rescue Squadron pararescue senior enlisted manager for almost 8 months, before being called back to active duty for three years to serve as the 342nd Training Squadron Combat Training Flight chief, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Isaacks returned to the 308th RQS in November 2012, where he served as the superintendent before moving to the 920th OG superintendent position.

“The Air Force and the Rescue family have been good to me,” Isaacks said. “I’m glad I took my dad’s advice all those years ago and went Air Force. If you look at the different service components – Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard – they all have good attributes, but the Air Force has an exceptional quality of life and it excels at taking care of its people.

This is especially true of the 920th, Isaacks said. He called the wing a “tight-knit community” where every gathering is like a family reunion. He said it’s a great opportunity to meet new wing members.

“Meeting newcomers is one of the best parts for me because every Airman that comes to rescue falls in love with the mission,” he said, “and their enthusiasm reminds us all why we’re here and pushes us toward our goal of forging the world’s greatest rescue force.”

As the 920th RQW’s highest ranking enlisted member, Isaacks advises the commander on matters concerning the morale, health, welfare, effective use, training and progress of the enlisted corps of the 920th RQW, including its geographically separated units, the 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona; the 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland International Airport, Oregon; and the 920th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Langley, Virginia. He also serves as the commander's representative to numerous committees, councils, boards and military and civilian functions.