Capt Brad Summers (Retired)

C-9A Medevac Pilot

What made you pursue ROTC and a career in the military?

Since I was a child, I always wanted to fly.  I did not have the money to earn my ratings at a flight school and figured the military would be a possibility for me.

Where did you see your career going when you were a cadet?

 I thought I would learn to fly, gain experience, then fly for an airline.

Has it followed that path? How or how not?

 Yes.  I flew in the Military for 8 years, then 25 years at Alaska Airlines.

What is your current job/assignment?

I separated from the USAF in 1982 , have been retired from Alaskan Airlines since 2008. My primary job was flying the C-9A (medevac) out of Scott AFB and Rhein/Main (Frankfurt)

What do you like most about it (and the AF in general)?

 1.Training and 2. opportunity were excellent.  3. We also enjoyed our assignments and meeting people.  We met remarkable people who have remained good friends though these many years.  4.I had many wonderful flying experiences in many places throughout the world.(flying the Berlin corridors, flying to Moscow during the cold war, flying into clandestine locations in Africa )  These were opportunities that I would never experienced and have made my life richer.

What do you like least about it (and the AF in general)?

Probably the fact that flying was kind of looked at as a secondary job.  I only wanted to fly.  I had no aspirations of managing an organization.

What surprised you most about the Air Force?

 It was eye opening to us the roll that current political events played on our opportunities.

What advice do you have for future/current cadets?

 Go into it with an open mind and enjoy the moment.  Take advantage of opportunities that would not be available to most people.

How did ROTC prepare you for your job now?

 It was the avenue that got me a commission.  I graduated in 1975 as the Vietnam conflict was coming to an end.  The military was downsizing and did not want any of us.  My wife and I married our senior year of school and by the end of the year, we were expecting a baby.  That and other circumstances qualified me for a "hardship" exemption and they allowed me to come onto active duty.  I worked for 1 1/2 years as a Base Supply Officer, then was admitted to flight training.  In all honesty, I never really planned on a career in the AF.  I will always be grateful for the scholarship that I received from the ROTC 

Anything else you'd like to add?

 As stated, I left the Air Force after 8 years.  I had a classmate in pilot training who remained in and retired as an O-9.  We lost track of each other for 30 years.  In 2008, We both retired to the same small town in Washington. (Leavenworth)  It has been fun to become reacquainted.   And we still have a bond from that unique experience we had together in 1978 at an air base that no longer exists.