Women’s History Month Leadership Spotlight with Col. Mia Walsh

  • Published
  • By Tamry L. McCauley
  • SBD 3

Col. Mia Walsh, Space Base Delta 3 commander, shares some of her personal story during Women’s History Month.


Q: How long have you served in/with the military?

Walsh: I’ve had the honor of serving in the military for 24 years.


Q: What influenced you to join the USAF/USSF or work for the military?

Walsh: Ellison Onizuka, the first astronaut from Hawaii, the first Japanese American astronaut, and the first Buddhist astronaut, greatly influenced me to join the military.  He was a test pilot for the Air Force and commissioned through ROTC.  He visited my elementary school when I was about 8 years old, and I knew immediately I wanted to be an astronaut.


Q: What do you enjoy most about your position at LAAFB?

Walsh: I enjoy getting to work with all of the amazing people in Space Base Delta 3.  I also enjoy being able to do community outreach activities like STEM presentations at schools or speeches for Veteran’s Day.  With less than 1% of the US population having served in the military, there are so many people who don’t know anything about the military and some who maybe don’t know anyone serving in the military.  They can’t see a future in military service or understand the benefits of serving if they don’t see that in their community. I really believe that military members have a responsibility to promote service.


Q: Have you faced any challenges serving in the military /or in your position as a woman?

Walsh: I think overall I have not faced many challenges due to my gender.  However, I will say that there is a responsibility that women carry to make it easier for the women coming after them.


Q: What advice do you have for women in the military?

Walsh: My advice for women in the military is to work hard and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.  You can do anything you set your mind to accomplish!  Also, pay it forward and mentor those who will follow you – men and women.


Q: Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

Walsh: My husband is the most influential person in my life.  People always say that command is lonely but when your husband is a 5-time squadron commander and retired Security Forces, it’s not lonely!  I have all the expertise and knowledge in the most trusted person in my life.  I’ve never had a scenario in command where he didn’t offer me great advice.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Walsh: Retired and sitting on a beach in Hawaii!