Ali on the Run Show Episode 260: On the Job with United States Air Force Colonel Shelly Mendieta

“It doesn’t matter if I’m a man or a woman. It just matters how I do my job. That responsibility I’m given is based on how I’ve done in the past, and how well they think I’m going to do in the future.”

Welcome to the final episode in the On the Job series! Today, we are wrapping things up with United States Air Force Colonel Shelly Mendieta, who is the Vice Wing Commander of the 39th Airbase Wing in Incirlik, Turkey. As the #2 in command, Col. Mendieta is responsible for more than 3,500 military, civilian, and contractor personnel on base. She’s also a Weapons System Operator in the F-15E fighter plane, having logged more than 2,400 flight hours! On this episode, Col. Mendieta talks about what it’s really like flying those planes — which women weren’t even allowed to fly when she first enlisted in the Air Force — and what it’s like serving the country and being stationed overseas. She also talks about how being a runner makes her better in the air, and shares her take on being a woman in the military.

Thank you to Tracksmith for sponsoring the On the Job series on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to and use code ONTHERUN15 at checkout for 15% off your first Tracksmith purchase!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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