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Following the Flag: An Air Force Officer Provides an Eyewitness View of Major Events and Policies during the Cold War

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From time to time, people ask about my Air Force career. These conversations led me to believe most Americans know too little about the many challenges and responsibilities in an Air Force career. Sure, the public has TV and sees smart bombs dropped and missiles launched, or goes to movies that mimic aerial combat, or suffers through a TV drama with a Dr. Strangelove-type officer committing treason or another heinous crime. Given these snapshots of Air Force activities, true and fictional, do they really portray the Air Force Would going back 50 years and tracing the path of progress by citing personal experiences and observations along the way paint a more authentic picture Perhaps an individual can describe with some degree of accuracy what is personally experienced. Beyond that, conjecture, opinion, and hearsay take over. Friends suggested my personal experiences might interest veterans who may have shared similar experiences, as well as persons with or without a military background who have a historical interest in these same events or young people who might be interested in a military career. In response to their suggestions, I have written this book but claim no special insight, talent, or skill that was denied my contemporaries. Mybest credential is simply the coincidence of having been in a variety of different jobs, in combat and peacetime, when important and interesting changes were happening during the Cold War. The book focuses on my own experiences and is biased in that regard. What I have attempted to do is open up the period of history called the Cold War by tracing my personal experiences. In my opinion, the biggest mistake a career-oriented person can make is staying in one job and ignoring other opportunities for fear of failure. For that reason, I volunteered whenever an opportunity was offered. It would be misleading to portray my career as unblemished--no failures, no mistakes, no disappointments.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Aircraft Operations
  • Information Science
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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