Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Occupational specialty: P-3C Orion - Naval aircrew
Motto to live by: “Visualize, then attack.”
I always wanted to fly, even though I had only done it a few times in my life. When I began to consider the military, I got a call from the Navy and I remember telling my mother I wasn’t even going to consider them because they had just ships.
Obviously I didn’t know much about the Navy if that’s what I believed. But I talked to a recruiter, learned of their aviation capabilities, and enlisted at age 17. I had to have both my parents sign a waiver.
I made it through bootcamp, and found myself at Naval Aircrewman Candidate School. That was not easy. The water survival evolutions were particularly tough. Try treading water for five minutes in full gear (suit, helmet, steel-toed boots, vest, gloves).
But I made it through that too. Next up was SERE school. I can’t tell you too much about that, but I’m sure you can find more online. What I can say is, I was a scrawny 130-lb guy at the beginning of that program, and by the end of two weeks I’d lost 15 pounds.
After that course I checked in with my squadron and officially started working on board the P-3C. Made during the Cold War to track and attack subs, this plane is primarily used these days in counter-narcotic operations, anti-submarine warfare, and overland intelligence gathering.
I am currently a dual-warfare qualified 2nd class Petty Officer in the United States Navy with a little over 3 years in service. I have met some fantastic people in the military that I have had the honor of serving with, I have also lost some friends that I will never forget.
I have flown over 400 hours in the past 6 1/2 months with over 180 combat hours. In my flying career I have accumulated around 600 hours, not too many compared to some, but I am proud to say that I have worked my ass off to get those hours and I would like to think the world gets a little bit better every time I fly.
“Being an Aircrewman is not an easy job, when I am cold, hot, or tired, I WILL NOT FAIL MY CREW” - Excerpt from the Naval Aircrewmans Creed