By Rhonda Apple, Pentagram Staff Writer June 7, 2013
JOINT BASE HENDERSON-HALL, Va. - Throughout his 19-year military career, Lt. Col. Macedonio R. Molina, director of Emergency Services and provost marshal on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, has served in a myriad of positions and garnered a lot of experience to develop his leadership vision and philosophy.
Molina reported to his job on JBM-HH April 14. Prior to starting work, he said he purchased a home in Maryland where he lives with his wife, Esty, 17-year-old son, three daughters, ages 15, 9, and 7 and four horses.
"This is my first time being assigned to the [Washington,] D.C. area," said Molina, who had visited the region only once on a key club trip during his junior year in high school. "Anything and everything you can do is within this community is here ... whether it's sightseeing, shopping, or in my case, spending time with the family and horseback riding on the weekend."
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Douglas, Ariz., joining the military was something he thought about in his youth. The movie "A Few Good Men," also provided motivation. "I wanted to be a lawyer in the military ... my cousin, who is my godfather, was a detective with the police department in Douglas and as I grew and matured, I realized the direction I wanted in my career. He inspired me to go into law enforcement," said Molina.
Molina spent three years in the National Guard and Reserve, graduating from New Mexico Military Institute in May, 1994 with an associate in arts degree. He received a Reserve Officer Army commission as a second lieutenant in the military police corps that same year.
"I completed my bachelor's degree from University of Arizona while I was with the 855 Military Police Company, Arizona Army National Guard in Phoenix," he said. "I missed a semester of school to attend the officer basic course where I trained and was certified as an MP." After completing his bachelor's degree, Molina transitioned to active duty in June, 1997 at the National Training Center Military Police Company, Fort Irwin, Calif., as operations officer for the provost marshal's office.
He was selected in 1998 to serve as troop executive officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. After completing the military police officers advanced course in April, 2000, Molina was assigned as physical security/anti-terrorism officer, G3, Operations, 19th Theater Support Command, Camp Henry, South Korea. He returned stateside in May, 2002 and served as commander, 6th Military Police Detachment, Fort Rucker, Ala.
In May 2004, Molina was assigned to 2/263rd Training Support Bn., 91st Division (Training Support) in Mesa, Ariz., as combat support senior observer/controller trainer and unit assistor. In 2005, temporary change of station orders sent him to support 3rd Brigade, 91st Training Support Division, Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served as range officer in charge and S3 for Task Force Outlaw, the Army's mobilization training facility for detainee operations.
Following completion of the Command and General Staff College where he received a Masters of Arts in Military Arts and Sciences in June, 2007, Molina was assigned to 705th Military Police Bn. (Internment/Resettlement), where he deployed as the battalion S3 to Camp Bucca, Iraq, under the 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) and Task Force Falcon to conduct detainee operations. Under redeployment, he was selected to serve as Battalion Executive Officer for the 705th Military Police Battalion (I/R), to prepare and deploy the staff in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom at Camp Taji, Iraq. Molina again deployed with the 705th MP Bn. (I/R) in support of detainee operations under the 89th MP Brigade. Once he returned, Molina assumed duties as the deputy director of emergency services, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in June, 2010.
In July, 2011, Molina assumed duties as director of emergency services at Fort Polk, La., and by January, 2012, he was selected to serve as a commander, Security Force Advise and Assist, 2/101 Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), where he was deployed to Regional Command-East, Logar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, from May 2012 to February, 2013.
Molina talked about his philosophy, vision and intent he's shared with his staff at DES over the past seven weeks. "We're a service-based organization and provide a service to the community, whether through law enforcement, fire and emergency services or physical security," said Molina.
He feels the best way to service the joint base community is through training and education. "I train and educate the workforce so they understand what the standards are, and what policies and procedures we need to enforce. At the same time we have a commitment to the community to make sure they understand what the standards are as we go through the education process," he said.
Molina pointed out responsiveness to the public as another important point within DES. "Being responsive to the public, being professional and courteous upon our response and ensuring the public knows we're being responsive to them.
"Being courteous and having professional standards are an important part of the DES workforce," said Molina. "If those three things - being responsive, professional and courteous - are standard, and you communicate that to the workforce and the community, then there are no problems."
Molina shared his thoughts about military installations before disclosing how well he likes his first assignment on a joint base. "There is no bad installation - all Army installations are great installations - just some are a little better than others," he said with a smile. "My personal observation is Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and this community is one of those that are just a little better than others. I love my job; have great employees and a great supervisor."
The DES director enjoys playing poker and referred to the card game, saying, "It's hard to lose when you have four aces and I have a great workforce. [Police] Chief [William] Johnson is great; [Fire] Chief [Russell] Miller is great. Cathy Hardy is doing a great job with physical security and Master Sgt. [Jason] Hazzard as my provost sergeant. With those four doing a great job, it's hard to lose with my four aces."