2nd Lt. Andrew B Layton 110th Attack Wing --
ALPENA, Mich. – Col. John Miner took command of Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in a ceremony held on base Nov. 28. He succeeds Col. Andrew Roberts, who had led the CRTC since 2014.
The change of command ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, Commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, who offered Miner a charge.
“I’m going to leave you with a quote from President John Quincy Adams,” said Isabelle. “And that is, ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.’”
For Miner, the opportunity to lead the staff of Alpena CRTC opens the latest chapter in an already accomplished career. But he admits that the chance to work in a community he has come to love – through countless visits over the past 17 years – has his excitement and energy surging at an all-time high.
“I love how Alpena represents Main Street U.S.A.,” said Miner. “These are down-to-earth folks that work and play hard, and generally love the outdoors. They love their families, their city, and their country. And, they have a genuine appreciation for the military presence in the area and make us feel at home. I'm really going to enjoy working with the community here.”
A 1991 Air Force Academy graduate, Miner spent 10 years on active duty before joining the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in 2001 as a C-130 Hercules pilot. He has deployed experience in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. Most recently, Miner served as commander of the 217th Air Operations Group at Battle Creek, ANGB, Mich., directing reserve component integration under U.S. Air Forces Europe (USAFE) and U.S. Air Forces Africa (AF AFRICA).
But there’s more to the man than his resume. Outside of work, Miner is an avid sportsman who can often be found in the outdoors; either camping, or participating in lake sports or shooting sports.
“I also like technology and computers, but lost the race to keep up many years ago,” he said. “We love music and travel, and I still play guitar when I can find the time. With a busy family, we're always trying to find a way to enjoy our time together and make lasting memories.”
Speaking of family, Miner comes from a tradition of service that began with his father.
“Not many people know that I was born in Germany while my father was stationed in the Army,” said Miner. “And, my daughter was also born there nearly 30 years later when I was stationed over there. We have that common, so it creates a special bond for us. But don’t tell my boys, because they are all my favorites!”
Miner is also quick to give credit to his wife, Katrina – a small business owner for over 27 years – as the driving force in their family.
“Katrina is so skilled at being a mom and running her salon that she makes it look easy,” said Miner. I could not be nearly as involved with a job like mine without her incredible support at home.”
Together, the Miners have three children. Elizabeth, the oldest, is currently working two retail jobs as she plans her college education. Sons Noah and Collin are in High School and grade school, respectively.
“I could not be prouder of each one of them,” said Miner. “I'm blessed that they understand and appreciate the demands of my job, with all the travel and time away. They’re independent, hardworking, motivated young people, so that gives me peace of mind.”
Looking ahead, Miner has a clear vision for what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure at Alpena CRTC. High on his list of priorities is the continued growth of the Michigan National Guard’s State Partnership Programs with Latvia and Liberia. These type of partnerships make up a big part of Exercise Northern Strike – Alpena CRTC’s signature annual event.
“Partnerships like these are critical to security cooperation,” said Miner. “Our future success depends on our ability to work and train with our coalition partners across the globe.”
Beyond that, Miner says he is thankful to assume command of an organization that has already established a well-regarded standard of excellence. But Miner said he doesn’t mind the idea of pushing Alpena CRTC to even greater possibilities.
“I look forward to the opportunity to instill – and reinforce – the pride and confidence of a group of airmen who have unlimited potential,” said Miner. “I've walked into a situation that has all the pieces, amazing people, a focused mission…in my nearly 30 years in the Air Force I have never been more humbled or motivated to serve these men and women."
While the future triumphs of Alpena CRTC remain to be seen, one thing is certain: if there’s any truth in Adams' statement that a leader is one who motivates to “dream more, learn more, do more, and become more,” Alpena CRTC has found its man.