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Dodroe earns rank of full-bird colonel

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, is reaffirms the oath Oct. 16, 2016, during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe assumed command of the 188th Operations Group June 24, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, is reaffirms the oath Oct. 16, 2016, during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe assumed command of the 188th Operations Group June 24, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, has his wife and son pin his new rank Oct. 16, 2016, during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe joined the Air National Guard in 2010 after serving in the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves for 17 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, has his wife and son pin his new rank Oct. 16, 2016, during his promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe joined the Air National Guard in 2010 after serving in the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves for 17 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, 188th Wing commander, describes the poise and demeanor of Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, Oct. 16, 2016, during Dodroe’s promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe later spoke highly of Doorenbos and how he felt he blossomed under her leadership when they both served in the Arizona Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, 188th Wing commander, describes the poise and demeanor of Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, Oct. 16, 2016, during Dodroe’s promotion ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe later spoke highly of Doorenbos and how he felt he blossomed under her leadership when they both served in the Arizona Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, describes his goal to continue developing his Airmen Oct. 16, 2016, at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe explained his goal as colonel is to develop his Airmen in the trade of combat and as leaders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, describes his goal to continue developing his Airmen Oct. 16, 2016, at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe explained his goal as colonel is to develop his Airmen in the trade of combat and as leaders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, describes his goal to continue developing his Airmen Oct. 16, 2016, at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe explained his goal as colonel is to develop his Airmen in the trade of combat and as leaders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, describes his goal to continue developing his Airmen Oct. 16, 2016, at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Ark. Dodroe explained his goal as colonel is to develop his Airmen in the trade of combat and as leaders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Cody Martin)

EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. -- Leon Dodroe, 188th Operations Group commander, was promoted to the rank of colonel Oct. 16, 2016.

Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, 188th Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.

"You've been operating with the poise and demeanor of an O-6 for a very long time," Doorenbos said. "I look forward to working with you in your new rank and role."

After graduating from Washington State University with Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Dodroe enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1993 and served with the 75th Regiment in Fort Benning, Ga. In 1995, he was selected for pilot training and received his commission through Officer Candidate School.

Upon completing flight school, Dodroe was assigned as the fixed wing platoon leader for the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Vicenza, Italy. There he flew missions in support of Bosnia, Kosovo and northern Iraq. In 2000, he was assigned to Fort Huachuca where he attended the Military Intelligence Officers Advanced course and became the executive officer for E Company, 305th Michigan Battalion and Chief of RC-12D Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) training.

Dodroe transitioned to the Arizona Army National Guard in 2003 and held a number of positions, including battalion intelligence, plans and operations officer. In 2006, he transitioned to the Army Reserves as commander of C Company 6/52 Aviation Regiment and in 2008 through 2009, he deployed to Iraq and commanded Bravo Troop Task Force ODIN.

"What I really enjoy is working with personnel and ensuring that my subordinates are taking care of," Dodroe said. "That's why I sought leadership roles."

In 2010, Dodroe moved to the 214th Reconnaissance Group, Arizona ANG and filled a variety of leadership roles, including flight commander, director of operations and squadron commander of the 214th Reconnaissance Squadron.

"Once I joined the Air National Guard, to see the level of professionalism in [remotely piloted aircraft] operations, it floored me," Dodroe stated.

As the ceremony drew to a close, Dodroe described his goal to develop his Airmen that he has implemented since assuming command of the 188th Operations Group June 24th.

"My job is to develop you," Dodroe explained. "Not only as professionals in the trade of combat, but also as leaders, ensuring that you're placed in the appropriate roles and encouraging you to take additional duties and responsibilities."