An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Meet Colonel Benson: Everything you need to know about the new 7th BW commander

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Katherine Miller
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
When asked to talk a little about himself, the 7th Bomb Wing commander, Col. David Benson, humbly described himself as a gym rat at heart and a family man through and through. 

Benson likes to joke that his wife, Annie, who he has been married to for 20 years, is "way too good for him." Together, they have had four children, ages 16, 14, 11 and 7.

But when Benson says he's a family man, he's talking about his Air Force family, too.

"I bleed Airman and I serve because of what the Air Force has provided my family," he says.

Benson comes from an Air Force background. His mother and step-father served before him which greatly influenced his decision to join the Air Force.

He tells a story about his mother, Marcia Muncaster, and her experience in the Air Force.

"The story starts with Marcia marrying right out of high school in the late 1960's," Benson said. "Wanting a better life for her family, she began to work to put her husband through college. His job took them to Mississippi, and after a couple years of trying, Marcia and her husband divorced. With no job and no money, she had no choice but to give custody of her two children to her ex-husband and start looking for a job. The search for a job would land Marcia at an Air Force recruiting office and few months later, she was an Airman in the Air Force Band of the Gulf Coast."

Benson began his military career after graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1993. After the academy, he began pilot training and upon graduating, was first introduced to the B-1.

"You can thank my wife for that," Benson said.

He explained that he let Annie choose what plane he would learn to fly. She chose the B-1 for him because it "looked cool," and since at the time, the B-1s rarely deployed.

After a stint flying B-1s, Benson became a T-38 instructor pilot. Then, in 2000, he became qualified to fly the B-2 Spirit, and went on to become an instructor pilot and weapons school graduate in the airframe. Benson also served as the 325th Weapons Squadron commander, 509th Mission Support Group deputy commander, and 509th Operations Group commander at Whiteman AFB. Returning to Dyess as wing commander, Benson is now in the process of becoming re-qualified to fly and operate the B-1.

Since taking command of what is now an Air Force Global Strike Command base, Benson explained how the transition from Air Combat Command to AFGSC will impact the Team Dyess mission.

"Nothing is going to change from the C-130 prospective; we're still here to support them the best we can," Benson said. "With regard to the B-1, we need to be able to strike anywhere in the world, 24/7. Over the past 14 years, the B-1 has been fighting a lot of the fight over in the Middle East. With Global Strike Command, our area of responsibility has increased and they've asked us to become full-spectrum capable."

Benson explains that B-1s currently operate in what he called a low-threat environment, an altitude where there are limited threats capable of shooting a plane down. In order to be considered full-spectrum capable, the B-1s must also be able to employ in high-threat environments.

"We are training now and shifting our focus a little bit - not away from the Middle East, but opening up our focus to be able to ensure that we are able to meet those challenges of the future, as required," Benson said.

When asked about the relationship that exists between Dyess and the local community, Benson said, "The giving spirit of this community is amazing and it's great to be a part of."

He deeply encourages Airmen to continue to stay involved and give back to the community that supports Dyess.

"It [service] is more than just wearing a uniform, its service here locally as well."

Of what it takes to be a successful leader and what advice he would give to someone looking to pursue a leadership role, Benson offered, "Be humble, approachable and credible. And the key to all of that is to listen."