Colonel Eries L. G. Mentzer is the Commander, 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. She leads all base operating, infrastructure and services support for 42,000 active duty, Reserve, civilian, and contract personnel, students, and families at Maxwell and Gunter Annex in direct support of Air University, 908th Airlift Wing, Air Force Materiel Command units, Defense Information Systems Agency and more than 40 other mission partners. As Maxwell’s installation commander, she partners with local officials across a three-county, 12-city region with an annual military economic impact of $2.6 billion.
Colonel Mentzer commissioned in 1997 graduating with academic distinction from the University of Nebraska. She has served as an Air Force Intern for the Deputy Secretary of Defense, a Major Command Legislative Liaison, a Squadron Commander in Southwest Asia, a Joint Staff Planner, an Executive Officer to the Joint Staff Director, Chief Speechwriter to the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Executive Officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars National Defense Fellow, and as the Vice Commander of a Navy-led Joint Base. Prior to her current position, she led the Air Force Transition Team, coordinating all ceremonial and administrative milestones to retire the 21st and appoint the 22nd Air Force Chief of Staff.
1997 – Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, University of Nebraska
1998 – Basic Personnel Officer Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.
2002 – Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 – Master of Arts degree in Human Relations, University of Oklahoma
2006 – Master of Arts degree in Organizational Sciences, The George Washington University
2007 – Air Command and Staff College, correspondence
2007 – Air Command and Staff College, in-residence, Air Force Intern Program, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2009 – Georgetown University Congressional Operations Seminar, Washington, D.C.
2013 – Air War College, Correspondence
2017 – National Defense Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
2020 – Joint Professional Military Education Phase II, Joint Forces College, Norfolk, VA
1. June 1997 – June 1998, Chief, Customer Support, 37th Mission Support Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
2. June 1998 – November 1999, Executive Officer, 52nd Support Group, Lackland AFB, Texas
3. November 1999 – April 2001, Section Commander, 425th Air Base Squadron, Izmir Air Station, Turkey
4. April 2001 – June 2002, Section Commander, 52nd Component Repair Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
5. June 2002 – March 2004, Section Commander, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
6. March 2004 – July 2004, Assistant Director of Staff, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
7. August 2004 – August 2006, Air Force Intern, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
8. August 2006 – February 2008, Flight Commander, Manpower and Organization, Langley AFB, Va.
9. February 2008 – May 2009, Deputy Chief, Protocol, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
10. May 2009 – Nov 2009, Special Action Officer to COMACC for Legislative Affairs, Commander’s Action Group, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
11. Nov 2009 – May 2011, Chief, Retirements and Separations, Directorate of Force Management Policy, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
12. May 2011 – Oct 2011, Executive Officer, Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
13. Oct 2011 – June 2012, Executive Officer, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2012 – June 2013, Commander, 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron, Southwest Asia
15. July 2013 – August 2014, Joint Readiness Planner, Directorate of Manpower and Personnel, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
16. August 2014 – August 2015, Executive Officer, Office of the Director, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
17. August 2015 – July 2016, Chief Speechwriter, Office of the Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
18. July 2016 – July 2017, Executive Officer, Office of the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
19. August 2017 – July 2018, National Defense Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
20. July 2018 – August 2020, Vice Commander and Air Force Commander, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and Chief, Air Force Chief of Staff Transition Team, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
21. August 2020-present, Commander, 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
2010 HAF/A1 Field Grade Officer of the Year
2009 HQ ACC General Benjamin O. Davis Award
2008 HQ ACC Director of Staff Force Support Officer of the Year
2007 1st Fighter Wing Roger M. Blanchard Memorial Award for Character and Innovation
2002 52nd Maintenance Group Company Grade Officer of the Year
2001 & 2002 52nd Fighter Wing Personnel Manager of the Year
2000 39th Wing Personnel Manager of the Year / 39th Wing Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant May 1997
First Lieutenant May 1999
Captain May 2001
Major Feb 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 2011
Colonel (Frocked) May 2016
Colonel May 2017
(Current as of December 2020)