FORT DODGE, Iowa --
When Jason Kolacia enlisted with the Air National Guard 28 years ago with the 133rd Test Squadron, he did not imagine that he would eventually take command of the unit.
“When I enlisted,” said Kolacia, “I was focused on being a mechanic.”
Lt. Col. Jason Kolacia became the Commander of the 133rd T.S. at a formal ceremony in Fort Dodge, Iowa, during the November training weekend.
Before taking command, Kolacia was working as the Director of Cyber Operations and Maintenance at the Fort Dodge Air Guard unit.
Kolacia is a Fort Dodge native who enlisted with the Air National Guard at the 133rd T.S. in 1993 as a traditional guard member.
After graduating St. Edmond’s Catholic School in Fort Dodge, he went to Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio the following year.
Kolacia attended the Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic Apprentice Course in Wichita Falls, Texas, following basic training.
Kolacia had been working at the 133rd T.S. as an AGE mechanic for a few years. He said it was after his activation following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, while providing base security that he was encouraged to become an officer.
“I spent a year after the 9/11 attacks here at the 133rd providing assistance wherever needed,” said Kolacia. “For the better part of a year, I sat in a guard shack.”
“It was during this time, that Lt. Col. Robin Hosch approached me about becoming an officer,” explained Kolacia.
According to Hosch, the outgoing unit Commander, when she looks at potential officers, she thinks about a person’s ability to work with others, self-motivation, listening and communication skills, trustworthiness, and leadership qualities.
“He continually stood out among his peers,” Hosch said about Kolacia.
With encouragement from Hosch, Kolacia pursued his commission, which he received after attending the Academy of Military Science at McGee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Kolacia has earned his Associate of Arts Degree from Iowa Central Community College and his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Buena Vista University.
He was appointed as a Second Lieutenant in November, 2003.
Kolacia is assuming command of the 133rd T.S. 18 years later from the very person that encouraged him to see to his commission.
As Kolacia takes up his new responsibility, Hosch said she is confident with having Kolacia in command.
“One of the most comforting feelings I have leaving is knowing that Jason will listen to the input that is given to him and will make decisions accordingly,” said Hosch.
As the 133rd Squadron Commander, Kolacia said he wants the unit to continue making improvements in its operations.
He said the mission of conducting operational and developmental testing of command and control equipment is always evolving.
“We need to fine tune what we do in the present and prepare for the future,” said Kolacia.
After assuming command, Kolacia spoke to the 133rd Airmen about his leadership mantra.
“The first thing is that I will promise to be fair and consistent,” said Kolacia. “You are all equal to me, and I promise to treat you respect and dignity. In return, all I ask is that you abide by the Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in all you do!”