My draft notice was received on 02SEP72 having just started the Fall term only 3 days earlier.  Deferments ended in '71, so it was just a matter of time with only a double-digit draft number received in AUG71.  At that time, you were to report in 30 days along with having 20 days to find another branch to enlist in --  the only two branches needing draftees were the Army and the Marines.  Withdrawing from college was done several days later after the Labor Day weekend - there was no reason to continue since not being able to complete the term.  Another day later found me enlisting in the USAF in their delayed enlistment for "going in" in DEC72.  I became a pretty good Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM, also known as Electronic Warfare (EW)) Technician mainly being a bench tech repairing faulty airborne (e.g.: B-52G/H, F-4E, and OV-10B) ECM receivers down to the component level.  Back in school after the USAF, I concurrently worked at the General Electric Medical Circuit Board Plant outside of Milwaukee, WI as a tech on the midnight shift (repairing analog/digital boards that had failed their automated testing from that day's production runs).  Enticed by a good friend, Mike Mohawk, from my days in the USAF now working at a well-established and respected Aerial Reconnaissance Camera manufacturer based in Barrington, IL (northwest suburbs of Chicago, IL) and burnt-out from school and work, I withdrew as a 3rd year student after the Fall '78 Quarter finished starting work as a Field Service Engineer from late '78 to mid-'81 - I worked some CONUS initially, but was mostly OCONUS travelling a lot in the Pacific with a bit of South America.  The experiences during and shortly after my 4-year stint in the USAF ('72-'76) formed the drive for returning back to school in AUG81 and completing my bachelor’s degree in AUG83.

Following graduation, I landed as an EW electronic hardware design engineer for RF, analog, digital circuitry on defense contracts evolving to more paper-based activities further into my career as a Senior Systems Engineer.  The career transitioned later to the "dark side” into leadership and management as an Engineering Manager and with various Project and Program Manager positions.  About half of my career has involved international business travel or living and working OCONUS.  Numerous corporate and customer Certificates of Appreciation, spot awards, and recommendations have been received.  It was a great run!

Since retiring in NOV19, the focus is now with my own projects which includes some being restarted having been put aside years ago.

LinkedIn Profile can be seen at: 



Professional Affiliations

Additional Professional Training

Community Service



USAF Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) Technician - DEC72-MAY75

You may be quite astute and wondering just "why" there is a picture of me at work? The answer is a good one. The picture was carefully staged and taken by the base photographer there in the Osan AB ECM shop making sure nothing classified was in the picture. There really is nothing visible other than a militarized early Rolm computer there in the fuzzy background (it was "off"). To the extreme right of the frame with the cables connected are various units of test equipment used. All of that was used for the AN/ALR-46 ECM Receiver that I worked on. The picture was taken around APR76 as I had just been honored being awarded the Osan AB's "First Term Airman of the Year". The picture was on the front page of the base newspaper along with an accompanying article. The base photographer gave me several 5x7s of the shot.

I arrived at Osan AB in MAY75 after getting new orders in MAR75 changing my long-overdue PCS from Thailand to Korea.  When arriving at Osan AB, I was an A1C (Airman First Class, aka "2-striper") sewing-on SGT (Sergeant, aka "buck sergeant") a few weeks later.

I had been in college for a few years in SEP72.  With college deferrments ending in 1971 and receiving a lower-than-hoped-for draft lottery number in AUG71, it seemed that I might just "squeak by" not being drafted in 1972 (1972 was the last year anyone was drafted, numbers were drawn for 1973, but no one was drafted in 1973 or after).  My draft notice was received on 02SEP72 three (3) days after starting the fall quarter in 1972.  So, I withdrew from college and enlisted in the USAF several days after receiving my draft notice.

One of the best decisions made was enlisting for four (4) years doing something that I wanted to do rather than two (2) years of doing whatever being pigeon-holed into if drafted!  I transitioned into an airborne Electronic Countermeasures (ECM, aka Electronic Warfare (EW)) Technician really enjoying what I was doing along with being pretty good at it.


That gut-based and hastily-made decision to enlist in the USAF in September 1972 was the inspiration, drive, and really the catalyst in pursuing education and career opportunities framing a great career spanning over four (4) decades and only semi-retiring in late 2019.  In retrospect, there are a few regrets along with some “oops” (or some other choice words or comments) along the career path, but becoming that ECM Tech so long ago was a great start to an overall enjoyable and appreciated career trek.

Marine Mechanic

Various Marinas • Part-time

JUN68 - AUG83

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Texas

Marine Mechanic at a handful of marinas in Minnesota and Wisconsin working full-time in the summer and part-time in the winter while attending high school or after starting college (in SEP70). Primarily worked and enjoyed MerCruiser SternDives getting certified as a Factory Trained Mechanic in APR71.  Service performed would be repairing or rebuilding the entire unit down to the engine or the stern drive to the components or parts. Serviced snowmobiles during the fall and winter months. Took pride in my work - had very few "returns" after completing a customer's service.  Learned quite quickly that good tools were/are a good investment - bought a lot from Snap-On and then from Matco as well.

Working as a Marine Mechanic ceased for quite a while after being drafted in early SEP72 as noted above.  That forced me to leave work and college studies that Fall.  Also noted above, I enlisted in the USAF shortly after receiving my draft notice.

Started working for E-Systems Inc., Garland Division in Garland, TX right after graduation in AUG83.  That was the departing point for "hanging up" my tools working as a Marine Mechanic on and off for so many years.

The first Mercury Service Training in AUG69 being attended at the Mercury factory in Fond du Lac, WI.  Outboards.  All of 16 at this time!  Funny thing was my family (and I) had just moved to north central Minnesota from the Fond du Lac area just over a year earlier (we moved from Taycheedah, WI having a house right on the southest shore of Lake Winnebago on Sandy Beach Drive, to Brainerd, MN right after school was out in early JUN68).  FYI - I am that "young pup" on the right.

The second Mercury Service Training in JUN70 being attended at the Mercury factory in Fond du Lac, WI.  My first MerCruiser Service TrainingI would have been working at Froelich Marine on Pelican Lake north of Pelican Rapids at this time.  FYI - I am just to the right of center in the back.

The third (and final for me) Mercury Service Training in APR71 being attended at the Mercury factory in Fond du Lac, WI.  MerCruiser - now I was (by Mercury standards) a Qualified Factory Trained Mechanic.  What this really meant (to a Mercury dealer) was that I could perform warranty work and the dealer would get paid for the parts and labor!  I was working at Rademacher Marine in Brainerd, MN at this time.  FYI - I am on the right.

"Credit Card" sized certification that I used to keep in my tool box drawer.

Some of the special tools and reference material from a long time ago....   All of the stuff that was in my old tool box not seeing the light of day for so many years.  Some of the unique tools were "special made" by me.  They are now "cleaned up" and on display along a narrow shelf near the ceiling in my office - a sign to a time in my past!

MerCruiser 1 Carrier "nut" removal tool.   Had this machined for me.  Used a lot, so had my own (and not rely on what would typically be the dealer's tool).

Some of the "special wrenches" repurposed from donor wrenches.

Created this tool out of some bar stock specifically for gettting the MerCruiser 1 Stern Drive's hydraulic trim hoses to "restart" within the hard-to-access and small block that they attched to within the unit's gimbal housing.  It was a "booger" trying to get those fittings hand-started into the block - the tool allowed me to position the hose fittings "just right" with my left hand for getting them hand-started with my right hand.

Repurposed C-clamp as a valve spring compressor.

Strap wrench used in so many places.  Bought off of Snap-On truck (like many of my tools).

Piston ring compressor

Outboard compression tester.  Bought one for myself when working on outboards (early on).  Critical tool used just about every time you worked on an outboard making sure each of the engine's cylinders were within a few pounds pressure to each other.

2-barrel Holley carburetor rebuild kit instructions for a typical MerCruiser 1 Stern Drive carburetor (4- or 6-cylinder).  Rebuilt many of these over the years.

Pocket Service Guides.  Did outboards early on.  Most of the work though was with the Stern Drives.  The guides were just enough information to get you by such s clearances, tolerances, instructions, and certain procedures where you did not need to have the main book with you up in the boat.  Great quick reference.

Quick reference Tune-Up Spcifications.  Slip the inner "slide rule" to the right model, and read off the tune-up specifications.

Outboard Distributor dwell plates.  Some of Mercury's special tools that would typically be used by any of the mechanics in a dealership.  Bought a set for myself early on as the dealer's were either broken, missing, etc.   Not used hardly at all after transitioning over to the Stern Drives.