Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to Start a Military Career

I spent my senior college year wondering how I was going to avoid being drafted into the U.S. Army and being subsequently sent to Vietnam, a country that I didn't recall evedr studying in nearly 16 years of public school and college.  It seems that things were beginning to heat up in that neighborhood and I, as an unmarried 21 year old man in Utah, was prime draft bait.  Most of my contemporaries were already married with children at the age I was due to the Mormon influence.  The available draft pool was very, very shallow.  I received my draft notice soon afterwards.

One day, while walking through the Union Building, I came upon a recruiting booth for the U.S. Air Force.  I chatted with the two non-commissioned officers about what my options were.  They informed me that they could enlist me prior to my reporting date with a delayed enlistment so I could finish college and, as well, offered to give me the tests to qualify for Officer Training School and for flying training.  I accepted all of their offers and, after graduation, headed for San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base. 

Basic and Officer Training were challenging.  In Basic, I was the oldest guy in the program.  Most of the rest were kids right out of high school.  My training instructor appointed me the dorm chief.  This meant that I was ultimately responsible for the cleanliness and orderliness of the barracks.  Cleanliness and orderliness have an entirely different meaning to military guys.....

Anyway, I got through it and went on to aviation training and eventually into the Strategic Air Command.  Through all of the training and the subsequent 21 years, I gained confidence and skills that would never have been available through a civilian career. 


  1. You should write more of your military stories here, Dad. You never know, there could be a book in it!

  2. Good writing is hard to find. You and your daughter bring some into my life. Thanks for that and am looking forward to hearing more about your Air Force adventures....and other adventures.

    I am one of Megan's online race fan friends. I did have the pleasure of lunch with her one time when I was in Stockton and hope to do it again when I return to California. Maybe in 2013.