Col. McCain takes command of Eaker Center
Colonel Stewart Price, the incoming commander of the Thomas Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, shares his thoughts during a ceremony Feb. 24. (Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers Cox)
Col. McCain takes command of Eaker Center



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


3/4/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Allen Peck said that this was a day of new beginnings as he welcomed Colonel John McCain as the new commander of the Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development Feb. 25.

Col. McCain took command of the center from Col. Barbara Gilchrist, who retires this April.

Gen. Peck went on to commend Col. McCain's performance as commander of Air Force ROTC.

"His common sense, his grasp of the issues, but most importantly his passion is what separates him from [everybody else]," General Peck said. "You are very lucky to have someone of John's caliber at the Eaker Center."

Col. Gilchrist, who has been the director of the Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School and the commander of the Eaker Center, was thanked for her leadership and continuing the great legacy of the Eaker Center. She was thankful for the chance to serve at the Eaker Center.

"What an opportunity, to lead the Air Force's number one provider of professional continuing education," Col. Gilchrist said.

Col. McCain thanked Col. Gilchrist for her service to the Eaker Center and General Peck for his trust and confidence in allowing him to become a part of the Eaker Center.

"[My wife] and I are honored, humbled and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue serving Air University," Col. McCain said.

As the commander of the Eaker Center, Col. McCain is responsible for world-class technical training and professional continuing education to Air Force, international and other Department of Defense personnel. "This is an incredible mission, and I am excited to be part of this team," Col. McCain said.

No stranger to Maxwell, Col. McCain commanded the 36th Student Squadron and served as vice commandant of the Air and Space Basic Course. He graduated from Air War College in May 2007, where he earned academic distinction honors. In 2007, he was assigned as Air University director of staff. He assumed command of the Air Force ROTC in June 2008.

Col. McCain graduated from Clemson University and was commissioned through the ROTC, where he earned distinguished graduate honors. He has held a host of operational flying and staff assignments at the wing, MAJCOM and headquarters Air Force levels.