When I was about 15 I was introduced to Civil Air Patrol at the Scott AFB airshow. I was hooked. This started a relationship with airplanes and the military that has carried through to this day. I worked my way through the cadet program achieving the rank of Cadet Captain I had to wait for CAF to be a Colonel!) and receiving the Earhart award (the second highest achievement for a CAP cadet at the time). During this time I also filled many staff positions ending as the Cadet Commander. To this day I cannot salute without my heels clicking together.
I graduated from O’Fallon Township High School in 1985 and started college at Parks College of St. Louis University. Parks is an all aeronautical college with a long history in aviation starting in 1927. About 37,000 World War Two pilots received their primary training from Parks in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. At various times Parks did many things including run an airline and manufacturing their own airplanes. Gene Kranz of Apollo 11 & 13 fame is our most notable alumni.
My degree program was Aircraft Maintenance Engineering. This started with an A&P program and then finished with an engineering school. It was a long program (I finished with 149 credit hours!). I had very good professors from a previous era. Some of them actually knew Charles Lindbergh. I wish I knew then that I would be working on the planes I am now. I would have had a great many questions for them. Think Ed Curtis on steroids.
When I graduated in 1990 peace had just broke out everywhere. The Berlin wall came down and everyone stopped buying airplane for a while. My original plans were for a career in the Air Force. Well, they were RIFing everyone in sight at that time and aerospace was a bust so I needed something else to do. As luck would have it, my oldest friend had just started working for a chemical company in the semiconductor industry. He knew I was looking for a jog and helped my get hired.
That was supposed to be a temporary job until aerospace tuned around. Well that was 25 years ago and I am still in that field. In 1995 my company moved me to Austin to support our local customers. In 1996 I moved to Cedar Park where I have lived since. When I got to Texas I got involved with CAP here at the Georgetown squadron. I ran the cadet program there for many years. In fact there was a time that a friend and I were the only active adult members of that unit. Somehow we kept it together until we could recruit more people. It is good to see them doing so well. On a side note I actually helped park cars at one of the early Burnet airshows in the late 90's.
In 1996 I finally decided I needed to fulfill a dream and start working on my pilot’s license. In 1997 I took my check ride and joined the club. Eventually flying CAP faded away because of a busy career.
On a whim in March of 2007 (I think) I stopped by the CAF hangar in Burnet. After talking to a few people I thought I would give this a try. I was there just in time for the airshow. In a short time, I was spending my every Saturday getting my aviation fix. After getting current and building some experience, I received my Inspection Authorization IA in 2012.
In 2011 the Squadron Leader appointed me to be Executive officer. I was Exec until 2015 when I became squadron leader. I have served in this capacity since. During that time we have had many challenges. I am very proud of how our squadron have met and overcome those challenges and see a bright future for us in the years ahead."