Dual military Airmen promoted together, product of Air Force flexibility

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes
  • 9th Reconnisance Wing Public Affairs

Being a dual-military family can be difficult and sometimes taxing wondering where the Air Force will take you. Recently, Recce Town promoted a couple to the rank of Colonel, at the same time and they give credit to the flexibility of the Air Force.

In 1993 Col. Meghan Doherty, 9th Mission Support Group deputy commander, a Colorado native, and her husband Col. Michael Doherty, 48th Intelligence Squadron commander, a California native met at the New Mexico Military Institute. Fate would have it that one day they would be promoted on the same stage, to the same rank. Their journey was not decided by fate, but by trusting in the Air Force and dedication to their family and the Airmen around them.

“We had never planned or envisioned to stay in for 20 years,” Meghan explained. “We were staying in as long we felt called to serve, as long as we felt we were still doing something meaningful and that we love. Now that has brought us to 21 years.”

They both have sacrificed planned career trajectories to ensure their family life continued strong. Meghan mentioned that because of doing so, they have had the opportunity to do ‘unique and amazing things.’

Early on in their marriage, they even spent their anniversary deployed together supporting Operation Southern Watch. As their careers progressed they felt the Air Force has provided them stability to begin a family. Since then, they’ve racked up over a dozen deployments, a military style life that can be hard on a family. Raising four children, the Doherty's were able to manage a stable tempo between multiple duty stations and deployments.    

“We’ve had a lot of great folks throughout our entire career that’ve helped us get through difficult situations,” Michael said. “One of the phenomenal things we have as a dual military couple is that Meghan knows exactly what’s going on and what I’m doing downrange and vice-versa. There’s comfort in knowing how to get ahold of one another, it’s a little easier because were both in the military.” 

The Doherty’s credit their ‘team’ atmosphere at home and while deployed. This was evident during their promotion ceremony inside the hangar, filled with friends and family who have surrounded them since the beginning.

“Our focus is always taking care of the people that get the mission done and keeping that focus on the people around us,” Meghan said. “We like doing the mission, but now at our point we like to take care of the people who get the job done and making sure they have what they need and are part of the family.” 

Michael talked about how they are excited for their future and where the Air Force will take them.

“One of the things that has helped us get to where we are now, is the flexibility to adapt to different situations,” Michael added. “We don’t know what’s in store one year, two year’s, three years down the road, a lot of things are still up in the air. But we are ready to tackle those challenges as they come. As long we are able to do them together we’ll continue to do awesome things for the Air Force because we love to serve and it’s been good for us and the family.”