NEWS | June 2, 2021

JBAB Inducts inaugural group of honorary commanders

By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs

Sixteen units from across Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling inducted their first group of honorary commanders at a ceremony in the Bolling Club, on May 14, 2021.

The Honorary Commanders program serves as a vehicle to connect Team JBAB with key leaders in the surrounding community as the program aims to increase understanding of military culture and support of its various missions in the National Capital Region, as well as cultivate military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations.

“I had only one requirement for who I wanted recruited into the program – leaders,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Michael ‘Goose’ Zuhlsdorf, 11th Wing and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling commander. “Exactly like the squadron commanders that I have here on base, I wanted leaders that would make great teammates for us and we would make great teammates for them.”

The first class included sixteen new honorary commanders and an emeritus commander who had been with the U.S. Air Force Band since the band’s time with 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland:

-11th Wing Commander: Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf/Mayor Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, D.C.
-11th Wing Vice Commander: Col. Erica Rabe/Chairman Phil Mendelson, Chairman, DC Council
-11th Wing Command Chief: Command Chief Master Sgt. Christy Peterson/Wanda Lockridge, Chief of Staff, Ward 8, Washington, D.C.
-11th Wing Chief of Staff: Mr. John Eichstadt/Angela Franco, President/CEO DC Chamber of Commerce
-11th Mission Support Group: Col. James Clark/Ronald Mason Jr., President, University of the District of Columbia
-11th Operations Group: Col. Robert Jackson/Greg McCarthy, Senior VP of Community Engagement, Washington Nationals
-11th Security Forces Squadron: Maj. Nathan Aiken/Robert Contee, III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department
-U.S. Air Force Band: Col. David Schofield/Deborah Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center
-U.S. Air Force Honor Guard: Lt. Col. Jason Woodruff/Gabrielle Webster, CEO Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington
-11th Civil Engineer Squadron: Lt. Col. Ryan LeBlanc/John Donnelly, Sr., Chief of DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services
-11th Force Support Squadron: Lt. Col. Jane Dunn/Johnny Seikaly, Director of Contracts and Compliance for MCN Builds
-11th Contracting Squadron: Maj. Ruben Arredondo/Mark Diaz, VP and CFO George Washington University
-11th Logistics Readiness Squadron: Lt. Col. Douglas Wiggers/Linda Argo, National Capital Planning Commission
-11th Comptroller Squadron: Maj. Michael Chua/Sonja Wells, Senior VP and CLO of City First Bank
-316th Medical Squadron: Col. Marieantonette Brancato/Linda Talley, VP of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer, Children’s National Medical Center
-794th Communications Squadron: Lt. Col. Elithe Zoglman/Shana Glenzer, Founder and CEO DCFEMTECH
-Emeritus: Jenny Bilfield, President and CEO Washington Performing Arts

These commanders and their new partners were formally matched during the ceremony and began cultivating their new relationships during a post-event reception.

“The Honorary Commanders program is about bringing us together to enhance the readiness of our community through partnerships. Enduring lifelong partnerships,” said Zuhlsdorf. “Our kids attend the public and private schools. Our adults go to the universities and colleges. Everybody attends the professional sporting events, concerts, performances, we dine in the restaurants, we vote in the elections, and we take advantage of living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”

With all of these shared connections throughout the community, working with the new civilian counterparts is an exciting proposition for JBAB’s commanders.

“As you now become an Honorary Commander, know that you are the newest partners in our flock,” said Zuhlsdorf. “Together we will work to improve the readiness of our organizations, the heritage of our entire community, and the partnerships that will increase our successes.”v