JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Col. Paul B. Deschner, 433rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander, accepted his new position during an official change of command ceremony at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Auditorium here Aug. 6, 2017.
The presiding official, Col. Ernest Vasquez, 433rd Medical Group commander, officially passed the squadron's guidon to Deschner and voiced his excitement and support for the incoming commander.
Vasquez recounted how at a recent conference, Deschner attracted an audience of peers and admirers after the event was over. Attendees were inquiring about his knowledge of operations in the field and in a war-time environment.
"He is a wealth of knowledge and a natural born leader," said Vasquez. "Col. Deschner is an amazing person, a workhorse that has deployed twice into the area of responsibility. He is going to take this unit to the next level."
Deschner expressed his admiration and respect for his Airmen, and what he sees in their career under his command.
A medical mission to Peru, where the Airmen worked in adobe huts treating the poor populace, stood out to him as a highlight of his military career as a doctor. "In this job, you get to do things and go places that you don’t get to do in your civilian job. I want you to have the experiences I have had," said Deschner.
What makes one’s military career in the Air Force Reserve is your family, specifically the spouse according to Deschner.
"Time and time again, my wife Annette, has stood up," he recalled after listing the numerous domestic crises his wife solved while he was deployed.
“Her partner at her medical practice asked her ‘why do you let him do this’,” he said referring to his service in the Air Force Reserve.
“Because it is important to him,” Deschner says his wife replied. “That right there speaks volumes. You can’t serve without the support of your family, especially your spouse,” he said.
Before Deschner became the 433rd AMDS commander, he had previously joined the Air Force Reserves in 1992 at the end of his residency as a doctor. The son of a Marine corporal who served in World War II, Deschner was motivated by patriotism to rejoin the Reserves in 2006 after serving as a captain in the mid-1990s.