Meet the new medical group commander

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Born and raised on a 500-acre family farm in southern Illinois, also known as the Land of Lincoln, Col. Craig Forcum, 341st Medical Group commander, has finally arrived to his dream state after chasing it for nearly 25 years.

“I’ve been trying to get to Montana since I was in (graduate) school,” Forcum said. “I’ve always wanted to move Northwest and Montana was the destination in mind.”

Forcum arrived at Malmstrom on June 30, only giving him a mere 4 months in the hot seat as the king of the clinic. However, leading, teaching and mentoring Airmen at the base level is nothing new for this commander.

After completing graduate school, Forcum decided he wanted to join the Air Force to serve as a citizen who loved his country. He comes from a military family and has a grandfather, two great uncles, two uncles, two sisters and a brother who have all served in the military.

“There was one point in our lives where my mother had four kids on four different continents,” Forcum said.

Forcum’s philosophy on life is to work hard and to always do the best quality of work possible, fitting in line with the Air Force’s core value of “excellence in all we do.”

“It’s just the way I was raised,” Forcum said.

Forcum has been deployed to Afghanistan, Germany and Kyrgyzstan, and has traveled to more than 35 countries. Some of his assignments include Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and Kadena Air Base, Japan.

He said he loves traveling because of the opportunities presented to learn a lot about other people and how they assess problems and solutions.

“I think you learn a lot when you travel,” Forcum said. “You learn how other people do things, how other people think a little differently than you do, and it broadens your perspective. I have always enjoyed traveling.”

Having multiple experiences, bases and different challenges, he said, gives him a broad-base perspective to lead in his position.

“In my career, I’ve tried to stay base level because I love working with the troops,” Forcum said. “I love to teach and mentor folks because it’s very rewarding for me.

“I definitely like to be with the troops and the young Airmen coming into the Air Force,” he continued. “It’s great to be able to help them along with their careers, put things into perspective and help them understand how the Air Force works.”

Forcum said he has a goal he wants to accomplish that helps the medical group support the mission.

“My biggest goal is to increase our readiness posture and training to ensure our medics are ready to do their deployed mission and our in-garrison mission,” he said.

In his free time, Forcum likes to cycle and rides his bike to work as much as possible. He used to be into woodworking, but he said changing duty stations makes it a difficult hobby. Forcum also likes to fish and hunt. He said he will save woodworking and model trains for retirement hobbies.

Forcum said he is excited to be at Malmstrom and to lead, teach and mentor Airmen of all ranks. He said he is very social, approachable and likes to talk to people. He encourages Airmen to talk to him and share their stories.

“It’s not just about me telling stories,” Forcum said. “It’s about me hearing your stories and what’s important to you. It’s about helping people in life’s journey and learning from others, and seeing how we can support each other and the mission better.”

Forcum said common sense, rolling up his sleeves and working hard is important to him. Growing up, his father would always remind him that any job worth doing is worth doing right.

“If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right,” Forcum said.