Swear-in at a fly-in to become a C-17 pilot

By Northwest Military News Team on July 15, 2013

Air shows aren't just about cheering aircraft and eating hot dogs. Sometimes Air Force Reserve candidates take oaths during all the hoopla, as was the case for Robert T. Meunier, 26, when he became an officer candidate during the Arlington Fly-in Friday, July 12. Meunier, a native of Issaquah, Wash., will attend Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., before beginning training to become a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. He will be assigned to the 728th Airlift Squadron, 446th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Below are a few excerpts from a report filed by Capt. Christopher Larsen with the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

Meunier, a 2009 graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, works in commercial real estate in civilian life, but said he's always had the flying bug.

"A desk job isn't really for me," he said.

Meunier, a non-prior-service airman, said the process from initially contacting his recruiter to getting sworn in took about two years, "but it was worth it."

Master Sgt. Yvette Larson of the Western Recruiting Squadron worked with Meunier during the enlistment process. And when it was time to have Meunier take the oath of enlistment, she knew just who to call to administer it, she said.

Steven Bass, of Marysville, Wash., retired a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force Reserve, and was a member of the 728th. In civilian life, he's a pilot for Alaska Airlines. Bass would do the honors.

"I've done a couple of swearing-in ceremonies for Yvette," Bass said. "I did the first one at my house, and doing it here [at the Fly-in] really is special," he said.

Meunier will spend a few more years working towards his goal of being a fully-qualified Air Force pilot. After OTS, he'll attend flight school, and it will be more than two years until he's finished with training. But that doesn't concern him.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Meunier said.