SOCS leadership ‘trio’ team up to guide the ‘Dark Wolves’

  • Published
  • By Michelle Gigante
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

Just as wolves travel alone and in packs, the members of the 919th Special Operations Communications Squadron often support special operations missions as the only communicator and at other times deploy in multi-person teams for contingencies at locations across the globe. The strength and mutual support of a wolf pack are attributes reflected in the 919th SOCS emblem, which the 919th SOCS leadership team uphold for the ‘Dark Wolves’—the mascot of the special operations communicators.

Leading the cyber commando pack is Maj. Angela Shalduha, the 919th SOCS commander. Shalduha, who arrived from the 717th Information Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, took command of the unit this summer.  

“I want to create environments that are encouraging,” said Shalduha. “I thoroughly believe when you take care of your people first, the mission is accomplished well.”

Shalduha’s primary role is to lead and support Air Force Special Operations Command by providing secure and reliable communication to the warfighter.

Joining the wolf pack is Chief Master Sgt. Marcia Evans, whose first duty station was here at Duke in early 2000. She arrived in the fall from the 94th Communications Squadron at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, and is now the 919th SOCS superintendent.

“A part of what attracted me to the Reserve unit at Duke Field was the family environment,” said Evans. “Taking care of Airmen is my passion and the reason I come to work every day.”  

Completing the leadership pack is Master Sgt. Kay Money, 919th SOCS first sergeant, who crossed over with 20 years from the 919th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron. Money described herself as the ‘mama-bear’ to Airmen.

“As the first sergeant, I am here for the health, morale, and discipline,” said Money.

Just like a wolf pack who stands their ground to protect young pups, taking care of Airmen and providing training opportunities is a core value the leadership team share.

“One of my goals is to ensure our Airmen are trained to be leaders and to do the mission,” said Evans. 

The responsibilities for the cyber commando pack require highly skilled experts capable of deploying rapidly and providing Special Operations Forces with voice, data, video, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, video teleconferencing and a variety of other SOF-unique services.

“Everybody has a strength, and I am trying to find the way to bring out the best in our people,” said Money.

In addition to training, establishing trust with Airmen is another leadership value the team emphasized.

“I think trust is a big portion of being resilient,” said Evans. “I think being able to have those tough conversations and show vulnerability with your coworkers, your peers, leadership team is important.”

Sometimes rank can be intimidating to Airmen and can make it difficult for Airmen to feel comfortable to reach out for help.

“I want people to understand I am just a person like anybody else in the chain of command,” said Shalduha. “We all have to be vulnerable to a certain point, so we can connect and support each other.”

The leaders each described a common theme—being transparent—they shared feedback they received during their military service.  

“Many people have reached out to say thank you for being authentic and for listening,” said Evans. “I think listening really goes a long way in being an effective leader.”

While the trio is still learning and developing plans for the team, they each concluded the biggest need for Airmen is leadership.

“We want to leave the squadron better than we found it,” said Evans. “We are excited to lead the ‘Dark Wolves’ and see what the future holds.”