A Fighter Pilot’s Story

This is the story of my life as a Fighter Pilot, with all the failures and successes I experienced that were required for me to ultimately achieve my dream of flying jets. As I sit down to write this book, I reflect upon the great number of things that occurred along the way, which at the time seemed quite unpleasant, but I now realize were all required to bring me to the point of writing this book. I can honestly say I am thankful for living through each and every one of those unpleasant experiences because everything in my past – the good, the bad, and the ugly – has moulded me into the person I am today.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve my country as an Air Force Pilot for 20 years. Better yet, I have had the opportunity to learn from, and train with, some of the best Fighter Pilots in the world. During that time I have come to realize that it is not always what happens in the air that defines a great Fighter Pilot; rather, a majority of our success comes from how we deal with life’s challenges on the ground as well. I decided to write this book so I could share this perspective as a man, a husband, a father, and a Fighter Pilot.

This book is also an expression of gratitude for the gift I was given to fly. It is an expression of gratitude to every person who took the time to believe in me and guide me throughout my Air Force career. There have been a number of great leaders who I tried to model myself after, both on the ground and in the air. I realize now that my success story is, in essence, their success story Their belief in me allowed me to believe in myself. Once that happened, only the SKY was the limit!

My ultimate goal in this book is to share with others that it is okay to fail. In fact, it is quite normal to do so. Believe you me I speak from a lot of experience in that department. However, the key to my success has always been how I have responded and arisen after each and every failure. It is my wish that people from all walks of life can take a part of my story and apply it to their own lives. I am certainly not saying that my life’s story should be the model for success. Nothing could be further from the truth. To be sure, there are countless success stories out there that do not have the drama that I chose to bring into my life. However, I feel that it is important for me to be transparent in telling my story for one principal reason: Readers will see that ordinary people can do extraordinary things! My goal here is to inspire all. But, even if only one person who reads this book is inspired to take action because of it, I have succeeded in my goal with this book.

This book is not intended to make the reader want to become a Fighter Pilot nor dissuade them from doing so. To me, being a Fighter Pilot was all that I ever wanted to be, but it certainly is not the ideal profession for everyone. It requires years and years of training, hard work, and dedication. And, to that end, most Fighter Pilots develop a mentality to work hard…play harder.” It is the motto by which most live by, and, it has a significant effect on the loved ones around you. Know this: being a Fighter Pilot is not all that Hollywood has made it out to be in movies like “Top Gun.” But, there is one thing for sure—there is no better office space in the world than in the cockpit of a Fighter jet!

This book is actually a story of many stories. Some will make you laugh; some will make you ask yourself “What the HELL were you thinking?” Collectively, it is a story of my journey from a person who had given up on himself as a young man, to a man who became a world class Fighter Pilot and Aerobatic Formation Pilot.

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