A Transylvania University alumnus who commissioned through the school’s ROTC program has been named vice commander of the 88th Air Base Wing — the largest in the Air Force, with more than 5,000 military and civilian personnel.
Col. Travis Pond ’99 recently joined the command team from Air Force Materiel Command headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. He formerly served as deputy director of contracting at the base.
Pond credits his time at Transylvania with shaping the leadership skills he’s needed to be a successful officer. “A strong liberal arts education, with an emphasis on communication skills and critical thinking, combined with my chosen major in economics and finance, provided the foundation for my professional career,” he said.
In addition to participating in ROTC — which Transylvania offers through a partnership with the University of Kentucky — Pond was active in Delta Sigma Phi and remains close with his fraternity brothers.
Pond noted the tight-knit community he found at his alma mater, along with supportive professors, and he said he’s happy to be near his college friends and hometown in Ohio.
In his job, he takes a “people first, mission always” leadership approach, according to a Wright-Patterson news release. “I strive each day to make people’s jobs easier. Taking care of our people and their families is priority No. 1.”
His various roles have included commanding the 509th Contracting Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and the Defense Contract Management Agency in Seattle. Pond was also a contracting officer with a major weapons center, an operational squadron and the National Reconnaissance Office.
“After 24 years in the Air Force with assignments across the country, my appreciation for the experiences and education I received at Transy continues to grow,” he said.