Col. William C. McDonald is the vice commander for the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The 89th AW is responsible for worldwide special air mission airlift, logistics, aerial port and communications support for the President, Vice President, cabinet members, combatant commanders and other senior military and elected leaders as tasked by the White House, Air Force Chief of Staff and Air Mobility Command. The wing provides 24/7 alert airlift and operates an Executive Airlift Training Center and Government Network Operations Center.
McDonald received his commission from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Charleston Southern University in 2000 and completed Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. He has deployed to the Middle East and South East Asia on numerous occasions in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM. He commanded the 8th Airlift Squadron and has served in a variety of positions at Air Mobility Command, Headquarters Air Force, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Prior to his current assignment, McDonald served as the Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In this capacity, he assisted the Assistant Secretary in developing and implementing policies and strategies to advance National Defense Strategy objectives to Europe (including NATO), the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.
2000 Bachelor of Arts in English, Charleston Southern University, Charleston, South Carolina
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama (Top-Third Grad)
2008 Master of Science in National Security, American Military University, Charles Town, West Virginia
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2014 Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, Rhode Island (with Honors)
2019 National War College, Washington, D.C.
2021 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Fellow
1. July 2000 – January 2001, Squadron Programmer, 334th Fighter Training Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
2. January 2001 – February 2002, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Student, 14th Operational Support Squadron, Columbus AFB, Mississippi
3. August 2002 – August 2006, C-5 Aircraft Commander and Operations Group Executive Officer, 21st Airlift Squadron and 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, California
4. June 2006 – April 2010, C-17A Evaluator Aircraft Commander and Wing Executive Officer, 7th Airlift Squadron and 62d Airlift Wing, McChord AFB, Washington
5. April 2010 – July 2011, Chief, Rated Squadron Commander Assignments & Deputy Chief, Officer & Civilian Development, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Illinois
6. July 2011 – July 2012, Special Action Officer, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Illinois
7. July 2012 – July 2013, Executive Officer to the Vice Commander, Air Mobility Command, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Illinois
8. July 2013 – July 2014, Student, Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, Rhode Island
9. August 2014 – August 2016, Commander, 8th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
10. August 2016 – August 2018, Chief, Rated Force Policy, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
11. August 2018 – July 2019, Student, National War College, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2019 – July 2020, Iraq Country Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Middle East Policy, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
13. July 2020 – May 2021, Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2021 – Present, Vice Commander, 89th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: Over 4,000 Aircraft
Flown: T-37, T-1, C-5A/B/C, C-17A, C-40
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal with four stars
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant August 2000
First Lieutenant July 2002
Captain July 2004
Major June 2010
Lieutenant Colonel February 2015
Colonel January 2021