When I graduated from high school, I wanted to see different places, so I joined the Air Force. In my career, I have lived in Canada, England, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Hawaii, and all over the United States.
Being mechanically inclined and always having enjoyed working on cars, I chose a career as an aircraft mechanic. After basic training, I went to aircraft mechanic’s school and field training and was assigned to Andrews Air Force Base (AFB) near Washington, DC. After 2 years of performing unscheduled maintenance (pilot-reported problems), I went to Goose Bay, Canada, for another field training course on the F-102 aircraft.
I returned to Scott AFB, IL to work on the T-39 Saberliner, a private passenger jet. I went on flying status as the chief mechanic and flew around the country. I was also responsible for making or supervising repairs. Having just married, I saw the Air Force as a chance to get ahead and establish a good career, but it was having a job I really liked and being able to fly as well that really sold me.
In my first supervisory job, I coordinated flight line maintenance for a fighter squadron and served as an instructor in aircraft mechanics. Several years later, while in Hawaii, I was promoted to senior manager and served as the Pacific Air Force Command manager for several types of aircraft, ensuring that materials and supplies reached Air Force units in the Pacific. I was also an assistant manager of a maintenance unit capable of supporting F-15 fighters anywhere in the world.