145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander promoted to Lt. Col. Published Dec. 15, 2015 By Senior Airman Laura Montgomery 145th Public Affairs CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- All eyes were on Maj. Karen Shook, commander of the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, as she was ceremoniously promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel during a ceremony held in her honor at the North Carolina Air National Guard base in Charlotte, N.C. To top off her well-deserved rank, Shook's newly wedded husband was on hand making the event even more exciting and special, as he had the honor of pinning the lieutenant colonel insignia onto his wife's uniform. Shook, a graduate from the University of Florida, understands the demands of military life very well as her father served in and retired from the United States Air Force. She has served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force to include Active duty, Reserve and the Air National Guard. With five different skills under her belt, non-destructive inspector, operations resource manager, personnel officer, installation deployment officer and her current command position with the 145th AMXS- Shook has already demonstrated her leadership qualities. "I wanted to grow up a little, gain some leadership experience, get an education and travel the world," stated Shook in regards to her initial goals when entering the Air Force in 1991. "I have accomplished all those things; I gained my Bachelors and Masters all through the G.I. Bill," said Shook. "My Goal is to develop young men and women and to get them fully trained and qualified on their jobs. There are obstacles, including budget and financial constraints, conversion challenges and the amount of required training, but it can be done," said Shook as she offered her thoughts regarding her current and long-term goals for her position within the 145th AMXS. The promotion from major to lieutenant colonel invites some heavier demands and responsibilities, which Shook is ready and eager to tackle. As a woman climbing the ladder in the U.S.A.F., the number of women in leadership roles decreases, and it may seem intimidating, but not for Shook. "Stay true to yourself, never accept excuses from yourself or from others as for why something can't be done, keep a positive attitude and remember that you're just as capable of doing something that a man can do," Shook advised.