Meet the Commander – Col. Christopher Workinger, 365th ISRG/CC

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. AJ Hyatt
  • 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing
(This article is part of the "363d ISR Wing Meet the Commanders" series. The purpose is to interview group/squadron commanders and senior leaders to learn more about them and highlight who they are to the Wing.)

Colonel Christopher Workinger became the 365th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group (ISRG) commander, during a change of command ceremony, June 22, 2021 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Workinger is the Director (A2) of Intelligence for the United States Air Force Warfare Center and the 365th ISRG commander. As the A2, Workinger ensures the integration of Information Warfare across the Warfare Center’s testing, tactics development and advanced training mission. As the 365 ISRG commander, he provides content-dominant, all-source intelligence products for Combatant Commanders and Air Force Tactical Commanders to prepare for and execute operational and tactical missions.

Prior to becoming the 365th ISRG commander, Workinger served as the Deputy Chief, Operations Support Division and a Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI), Joint Staff Intelligence Directorate (J2) at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Workinger was commissioned in 1999 from the University of Akron’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Land Surveying and Mapping. He is a career-intelligence officer and weapons officer with multiple deployments in support of combat flying operations including Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, Combined Joint Task Force Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, and Operation RESOLUTE SUPPORT. He is also a distinguished graduate of the USAF Weapons School and he served as an Instructor and Director of Operations at the 19th Weapons Squadron (Intelligence Weapons Instructor Course), USAF Weapons School.

During the interview, we asked him some questions and got to learn more about Workinger’s history, his family and his call sign “Rawhide”.

Why did you join the military?
To serve the United States of America in the World’s Greatest Air Force! While I know it sounds cliché, it’s 100 percent true.

Tell us about your family. 
Family means everything to me. In my childhood, my father’s stories from his time as a Vietnam Combat Veteran shaped me -- he is one of the main inspirations for me to serve. My Mom was an amazing and hard-working home maker and school bus driver. I am lucky to have such an awesome, but very blue-collar upbringing with my two sisters and my family in Ohio. Now, my wife and my two daughters are the true reason I live – I want to be the best husband and father I can be for them.

Where did you grow up?
Home is in Ohio. I had a farm upbringing on my Grandfather and Grandmother’s farm and my Dad and Mom’s farm - it’s where I hope to be someday after my time serving in the USAF – on a piece of Ohio farmland.

What’s one of your best military memories/experiences?
Probably my best military memory was my TDY/deployment from Ramstein AB, Germany/DGS-4, when I led the Ramstein DGS-4 Team at RED FLAG 16-3. As a squadron commander at the time, it was my responsibility to ensure the team succeeded, learned, thrived, and got everything they could out of RED FLAG.
Experience, intuition, and grit prevailed and we had an amazing exercise deployed to Nellis AFB – I only wish more of my team could have experienced it.

What are your hobbies? 
Hunting, Camping, Fishing, Canoeing, Rodeo, and Competitive Shooting (Pistol and Long Range Rifle).      

My call sign is “Rawhide” for the way I dress (American Cowboy-style) and for getting “chewed-out” a lot as a Lieutenant.

What advice would you give your younger self? 
The key to life, and an Air Force Career, is balance!

What is the best thing about your job?
I absolutely love to lead teams and serve in the greatest Air Force the World has ever seen. But it is on us to ensure we remain the world’s greatest Air Force – this is a no fail mission.

What’s your most common saying? 
“Teams begin and end where we start and stop using the pronoun ‘we.’ As soon as we stop saying ‘we,’ we no longer have a team.”

Favorite sport (to play or watch)?
Favorite sport to watch is NASCAR … Go Ford Racing!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? 
My favorite Thanksgiving dish is a full plate consisting of Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn, all covered in delicious gravy. 

What do you want the Airmen of the 363d ISR Wing to know about you?
I want the Airmen of the 363 ISRW to know that they make a difference by serving our great Nation. Every one of the USAF Airmen and USSF Guardians that serve are leaders – through their example and through their dedication to this mission – Fly, Fight and Win!