Leadership Perspectives: 50th MSG commander

col. kehl

Col. Brian Kehl, 50th Mission Support Group commander. (Courtesy photo)


Col. Brian Kehl is the commander of the 50th Mission Support Group, his third command where he has been for nine months. He took some time out of his day to answer some questions on his leadership perspectives.

1. What was your motivation for joining the Air Force and where did you start your career?

My father served in the Air Force for 24 years, which drove a strong sense of patriotism in our home. As a high school senior, I applied for and earned a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship. I attended the University of California at Riverside for two years as a pre-engineering student before transferring to Brigham Young University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. My first duty assignment was Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee.

2. Who is a leader that stands out to you and why?

I was fortunate to be the Honorable Lisa S. Disbrow’s senior military assistant for 11 months after she was appointed by former President Barack Obama to be the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, and also when she was the acting Undersecretary of the Air Force. Disbrow empowered me to lead her front office and gave me endless opportunities to share my tactical and operational knowledge with her as she worked with the Secretary and Chief of Staff on a myriad of strategic issues facing the Air Force.

3. What are hobbies, past times or unique skills you have and what draws you to them?

I love riding all-terrain vehicles. I own several ATV’s and motorcycles, but my favorite ATV is a 1985 Honda 350X three-wheeler I purchased in 1986. I still have the 350X and I enjoy riding it in the beautiful Colorado mountains. I also enjoy soccer; I played soccer in high school and in Europe during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I have coached all three of my children and I am a certified U.S. soccer referee.

4. How do you handle stress or challenges?

I handle stress by running or going for a long walk or bike rides. I handle challenges by learning all I can about the issue and then working with those involved to develop the best way forward to address the challenge.

5. How do you prepare junior Airmen for leadership roles?

I prepare them by providing guidance and mentoring and then give them an opportunity to lead.

6. What’s some advice you’ve received that’s stuck with you?

Don’t worry about things outside of your control.

7. What is an action or routine that you need to do every day?

Watch or read the news. I have a thirst for knowing what’s going on in the U.S. and around the world.

8. What common trait do you think all successful leaders have?

They are passionate!