Col. Deborah Marquart Liddick ’88 Leads Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland During Time of Change
By Vicki Mayk
When Col. Deborah (Marquart) Liddick ’88 learned she was assigned to command Air Force Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, shortly after sexual misconduct scandals there made national headlines, she said just two things to her commanding officer.
“ ‘I’m ready, sir,’ ” Liddick recalls telling the four-star general. “The only other question I asked was, ‘how soon?’ He said, ‘Within days.’ ”
Since assuming command at the base in September 2012, Liddick has been charged with carrying out the 46 recommendations made for improvement following an investigation by Chief of Air Force Safety Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward. The investigation followed a scandal cited as one of the largest in military history. It included some 31 female recruits reporting infractions, ranging from rape to inappropriate relationships. At least 34 military training instructors were investigated and to date 26 have been convicted by court martial. Four received disciplinary action and two are still under investigation.
“Certainly it was a challenging job coming in and, looking back, it hasn’t been the easiest job,” she says. “It’s helped that I am someone who believes in doing things by the book. If you are fair and consistent and you train folks to understand the rules and meet your expectations, and hold them accountable, you are going to succeed.” Continue reading