New Ohio Air National Guard recruit follows her father's path

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Story by Stephanie Beougher on 10/11/2018
Col. Gary McCue has been in the Ohio Air National Guard for 35 years. In his current position as the director of staff for Air at the Ohio Joint Force Headquarters in Columbus, McCue provides oversight and support to four wings and six geographically separated units with more than 4,700 Airmen. Soon, the Airmen ranks will include another McCue.

McCue's four daughters, ranging in age from 14 to 20, have grown up in the National Guard. He can't remember a time when they had any serious conversations about any of them following in his footsteps. That all changed when Josie, his second-oldest, came home from school recently and told him she'd taken the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB.

"I had no idea she had planned that. It was a pleasant surprise," McCue said. "A couple months later, she said she contacted an Air National Guard recruiter. She did it all on her own, and I'm proud of her."

Josie, a 17-year-old high school senior at Clear Fork High School in Richland County, decided to enlist with the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, where she knew her father started his career in 1983. She selected crew chief as her career specialty. Crew chiefs are essentially responsible for the overall care and maintenance of an aircraft, performing general inspections on the planes to ensure nothing is broken or missing so the aircraft are ready to fly. Crew chiefs at the 179th AW work on the C-130 Hercules airframe.

"I chose to be a crew chief because I wanted a job that was hands-on," she said.

What she didn't realize at the time was crew chief was the same career specialty her father chose when he first enlisted.

"I think it's really cool that she chose maintenance, and especially the crew chief role. We didn't talk too much about specific jobs, she did the research on her own," McCue said.

While family watched, father and daughter shared a special moment when he swore her in, along with her friend Morsette Bernard, on May 9, 2018.

Josie said she plans to graduate high school early to get a jump start on her National Guard career, and added "I am excited to meet new people and travel."

She also hopes to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, where her father got his undergraduate degree.

Col. McCue's advice as Josie follows in his footsteps includes, "volunteer when asked, be open-minded to trying new things, and take advantage of the training."

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