#IAMAFCE: Meet Russell Weniger

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

(Editor's Note: Engineers Week is this month and we wanted to take the opportunity to spotlight member of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center team doing great things for the Air Force and civil engineering community.)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Meet Russell Weniger, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Installation Support Directorate Facility Operations Branch chief, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

What are your main responsibilities? 
I am the enterprise manager for the facility operations portfolio. As the senior portfolio representative, I manage a team of people who guide the administration and oversight of the six major portfolio areas. I am also the AFIMSC lead for shaping Air Force asset management programs. As Air Force civil engineers, we constantly strive to put the right assets in the right place so that the Air Force can accomplish its mission best with the limited resources available to us and our asset management programs are the foundation of that.  

What is the best thing about your job? 
I get the chance to create and guide change for how the AFIMSC team, as well as the rest of the Air Force, do what we do to keep the mission going. 

As a child, what job did you want to have when you grew up? 
I wanted to be a “jack of all trades,” as modeled by my grandfather. Coincidently, my grandfather worked as a tradesman in what was then civil engineering at the former Kelly AFB during World War II.

What made you pursue engineering as a career? 
My uncle sold prefabricated metal buildings and I worked with him and the rest of the family to erect those buildings. Doing this sparked my interest in becoming a structural engineer as a way to apply my early life experiences. It didn’t hurt that two of my first-cousins also became structural engineers. 

What is your favorite part about being an Air Force CE? 
I get to look at what I do as if I’m the owner of a lot of property across the world and help guide our team as we work to keep that property ready to serve Air Force needs. I also get to be a problem solver … a value drilled into me by my grandfather from an early age. 

Why is your job important to the Air Force mission? 
Enterprise managers bring focus and direction to how we support the needs of the warfighter, and we help the Air Force make the most of limited resources.

What advice do you have for someone new to the engineering field?  
There are two distinct paths that an engineer can take:

• you can focus your efforts on being the best designer you can be (either working for the Air Force or for private firms that regularly do that) 

• or, you can use the engineering skills you develop over your career to manage properties in a fiscally responsible way.  

Either is a worthwhile path to take. My advice is to sample both paths and then choose wisely.   

What motivates and inspires you the most? 
I want to make a difference. Whether it’s developing the talent stack of those that I touch in my daily activities, or by reflecting on the improvements I’ve influenced throughout my career — affecting positive change inspires and motivates me to put my all into everything I do.