Col. Mary T. Gardner is the 188th Mission Support Group Commander, 188th Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard, Fort Smith, Arkansas. As such, she leads more than 350 Airmen who provide base operating support to the wing through various specialty and career fields, including base defense, internal security, civil engineering, personnel management and accountability, communications, contracting, supply, transportation, lodging, dining, and recreational services. The wing provides decision advantage, strike and combat support capabilities to meet combatant commander requirements worldwide, while also supporting domestic operations in times of state or national emergency.
Colonel Gardner enlisted in the 188th Fighter Wing in 1987 as an information management specialist. Following technical training at Keesler Air Force Base, she served in the 188th Public Affairs and Military Equal Opportunity offices. She received her commission in 1991 and served as the 188th Military Equal Opportunity officer.
Col. Gardner holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and a master’s degree in education. She has taught in Oklahoma public schools for 15 years. Prior to assuming her current position, the colonel previously served as the Commander, 188th Communications Flight, Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Okla.
Information Management Specialist Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.
Air National Guard Academy of Military Science, McGhee-Tyson ANGB, Knoxville, Tenn.
Master of Education, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Ark.
Equal Opportunity Advisors Reserve Component Course, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Patrick AFB, Fla.
Squadron Officer School, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.
Basic Communication Officer Training Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.
Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala., by correspondence
Air War College, Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala., by correspondence
May 1987–July 1987, Student, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas
July 1987–August 1987, Student, Technical Training School, Keesler AFB, Miss.
August 1987–April 1989, Administrative Assistant, 188th Public Affairs Office, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
April 1989–August 1991, Drug and Alcohol NCO, 188th Fighter Wing, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
August 1991–July 1997, Military Equal Opportunity Officer, 188th Fighter Wing, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
July 1997–May 2000, Military Equal Opportunity Officer in Charge, 188th Fighter Wing, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
May 2000–December 2001, Executive Officer, 188th Mission Support Group, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
December 2001–April 2012, Commander, 188th Communications Flight, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
April 2012–Present, Commander, 188th Mission Support Group, Ebbing ANGB, Fort Smith, Ark.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Aug. 8, 1991
First Lieutenant Aug. 8, 1994
Captain Aug. 25, 1996
Major Aug. 5, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel Aug. 5, 2008
Colonel Dec. 11, 2014
(Current as of November 2018)