opportunity for high school Heusser said of the program.
At the national level, he attended
a flight encampment at Beale Air
Force Base, Calif., Cadet Officer
School at Maxwell AFB, Ala., and
the International Air Cadet
Exchange program, which took
him to Britain.
not sure any other program
in the world besides CAP could provide this kind of education aviation, leadership development and
introductions to both military and
civil service to students at this
age he said.
By the time he was a senior at
Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., Heusser had earned
highest cadet honor, the Gen.
Carl A. Spaatz Award.
hile my high school academic records and varsity
sports participation helped, I am
absolutely convinced it was my
membership in CAP that allowed
me to be nominated by Sen. John
McCain, R-Ariz., to attend the U.S.
Air Force Academy as part of the
Class of he said.
There he followed in the footsteps of Dan Daehler, whom he
knew from his CAP cadet squadron,
and was classmates with another
squadron member, Stephen Olivares. Daehler now flies F-16s for
the U.S. Air Force Reserve out of
Luke AFB, Ariz., and Olivares is a
major in the Air Office of
Bolstered by his CAP solo glider
certificate, Heusser signed on as a
member of the parachute
team, the of and aerial demonstrations were
awesome experiences, fostering some
special friendships and helping me
stay motivated through the academic and general rigors of cadet life
at the he said.
hile the military makes duty
assignments, airmen have
some discretion in determining what
those are. That was aptly demonstrated by what happened to Heusser
once he graduated from the academy.
Not surprisingly, he had flight on
his mind and was very happy to be
sent to Columbus AFB
for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot
Training. quickly received unfor-
10 Civil Air Patrol Volunteer
As a CAP cadet Heusser became the
1,341st recipient of the Gen. Carl A.
Spaatz Award, the highest cadet
achievement, earned by only one-half
of percent of all cadets.
tunate news, he recalled.
An oversight in previous flight medical evaluations rendered him
unqualified to fly in the Air Force.
While he moved on to become a
security forces officer supervising
base law enforcement for F-117 aircraft at Holloman AFB, N.M., he
appealed the Air decision,
hoping he could return to flight
training. But it seemed to be a battle
he win until, some years
later, he was informed the Air Force
had changed its medical policy,
making him eligible once again for
pilot training selection. With the
full support of his superiors at Holloman, he was again selected to
attend SUPT, this time at Laughlin
His delay in getting to SUPT
proved beneficial, as he was a captain by then and was tapped to serve
as class leader. was another
leadership he said,
it allowed me to select the KC10 aircraft for my assignment after
Heusser went on to spend seven
years flying KC-10s, used primarily
for transport and refueling, while
holding a variety of leadership positions at Joint Base McGuire-DixLakehurst, N.J., and later Travis
AFB, Calif. During that time, he
accumulated 102 combat missions
and more than 2,000 flight hours in
the KC-10 in deployments in support of operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn
and Odyssey Dawn.