Alex graduated from UTK in 2009 with a degree in Political Science and a Air Force ROTC commission. He moved to Panama City, Florida for a year to learn how to be an Air Weapons Officer on the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System or AWACS. After a year there he spent time in Survival School in Washington state and then Oklahoma City. Alex received his initial qualification on the E-3 in May of 2011 and received his Air Battle Manager wings the same month. That fall he deployed to the Middle East for six months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and upon returning home he was selected to become an Electronic Combat Officer. After receiving his qualification, Alex returned to the Middle East to be the Chief of Electronic Combat for the AWACS Squadron, where he is still stationed. He was recently promoted to Captain and says he enjoys the 115 degree heat and sand, but is looking forward to getting home soon.
As far as the impact band had on me, there are too many to write down. A couple of things however stand in my mind and I have applied over and over again in the Air Force. Mr. Hunts axioms of doing the right thing and "you get out what you put in" . It sounds so simple but it really isn't. As an Officer in the Air Force the bar is set very high for having good judgement and making the right decisions. I have seen many commanders lose their positions over the simplest things that they didn't do by the book. I find it paramount that you always trust your gut and sometimes its not always easy or clear what the correct path is. When you find yourself taking the incorrect direction then its always critical to own up to it and put yourself on the right track. I can't tell you how many times I have seen Mr. Hunt pacing around in my noggin saying "Just do the right thing! It makes your life so much easier!" I've found myself saying it time and time again to the Airmen I have the pleasure of working with.
As far as great band memories go...I have a few. Asides from me passing out and the trombone being the object that everybody leapt for, and me waking up to Mrs. Hunts knee in my chest... I really enjoyed all of the trips and fantastic social support band provided. I learned that you get out what you put in and no matter what, no one can do it for you. You are as good as you will let yourself be. This is just as applicable to operators in the Air Force. However the stakes are much higher than making the Tuba section sound bad. There is no doubt that many of the lessons that I learned in band have helped make me a better Operator and Officer in the Air Force.
I hope to visit everyone soon and as always GO MUSTANGS!!