Lana Gregory McCallum was born in Newport News, Virginia, but was raised in Yorktown, Virginia. She attended York High School where she participated in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for three years. After graduating from high school in 1978, she attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, and joined the Air Force ROTC program there. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1982.
McCallum’s first station of duty was at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. There, she served as a shift commander in the 4th Security Police Squadron. She supervised over 125 security and law enforcement personnel from 1982 to 1985.
Next, she served at Ramstein Air Base in West Germany and promoted to captain in 1986. McCallum later served as an executive officer and operations officer of the 567th Security Police Squadron.
In May 1988, after becoming pregnant with her first child, McCallum left active duty. She returned to the military in 1993 and joined the Air Force Reserve. She served with the 733rd Security Forces Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, as an operations officer.
In 1995, she transferred to the 2nd Security Forces Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in northwest Louisiana before serving at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, in 1996.
In 1997, McCallum joined the 134th Air Refueling Wing, a unit of the Tennessee Air National Guard. She served as an education officer, personnel officer and executive officer.
As an education officer, she noticed that many airmen did not have their college degrees despite being so close to receiving one. She went through all of the personnel records on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base to identify these airmen and reached out to this group by sending them letters and followed up by making phone calls. Within a year, the 134th Air Refueling Wing had the most graduating students in the Air National Guard receiving an Associate of Applied Science through the Community College of the Air Force.
McCallum received two Meritorious Service Medals in the Air Force. The first she earned for her service as an education officer, and the second was awarded to her at her retirement ceremony.
After spending 28 years in the military, she retired as a lieutenant colonel in May 2010.
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