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From Cadets To Colonels: Wingmen For Life

Scot Walker '90 July 5, 2017 9:07 AM updated: July 5, 2017 9:22 AM

A story from U.S. Air Force public affairs features David Vaclavik '93 and Doug Thies '93, who were together as fish in Squadron 7 in 1989 and went on to serve together as colonels and group commanders at Shaw Air Force Base.

“What we were provided in school was an arduous experience that made us stronger by having to go through it together,” said Thies, who commissioned to become an F-16CM Fighting Falcon pilot and took command of the 20th Operations Group in 2015. “When you go through basic military training or officer training school, or anything difficult with a group of people, it creates a bond because you realize that together you made each other stronger and you came out a better Airman and a better person at the end of that experience. That [bond is] what Colonel Vaclavik and I have.”

As avid Texas A&M football fans, Vaclavik and Thies call each other to chat about games and catch up on life every season. Their friendship, however, runs deeper than sports, and Vaclavik said he was thrilled with the opportunity to live so close to his colleague and to have the next generation of their families connect while allowing the two men to reminisce about their college days.

Read the full story by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney of the 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at


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