Rod is passionate about military Aviation. He grew up in an Air Force family which fired his interest for all things "airplane": building models, sketching and painting and even flying radio-control aircraft.. He earned his degrees in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Purdue, and joined the USAF as an active duty Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Earning his private pilot licence along the way, after "retirement" he was employed by a major defense contractor, working KC-135 upgrades, and B-52 Re-engine proposals, and later finished out his 46-year aviation career as a Government B-52 and B-1 Program Manager. While on staff at Headquarters Air Mobility Command, several of his paintings were used as covers for the AIR MOBILITY FORUM magazine. Rod has also contributed five works to the USAF Art Program and his paintings were a desirable retirement gift for his co-workers for the past 20+ years; He has contributed a memorial painting to Desert Storm participants while at Barksdale AFB, and later an additional legacy painting for AWACS personnel was his parting gift on departure from that unit. His recent SR-71A painting, "Poking the Northern Bear at 85,000 Feet", garnered a first-place in ASAA's Science and Technology category during the 2022 ASAA gathering at Savanna, GA. He continues to review edit the ASAA Magazine, AEROBRUSH, for Don Malco, and write review articles for new models for the International Plastic Modeling Society. .
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