Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

A Short Biography

Frank R. Bartlett

USAFA Class of 1964

19th Squadron (Playboys)

I am writing a short biography because I believe someone is more likely to read it than one that fills up a lot of print lines. To start with, I was born in a small town in Vermont, and grew up in an equally small town in New Hampshire (I moved when I was six years old).

My life at the academy was one of survival. It was a very different atmosphere than I was used to. Unfortunately, in my drive to survive I missed a lot of lessons that could have made my life easier and more focused. When we were cadets we had to attend chapel, were expected to succeed academically, and compete in sports year around. Since I had some spirituality, liked academics, and enjoyed sports; all of this seemed fine to me. What I missed was that these are the foundations for a successful life. I believe with that understanding I would have embraced all of these activities more closely at school. It was the classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

I was selected to go to pilot training, but between graduation and pilot training I was in a severe car accident. The doctors said that had I not been in the great physical shape I was in, I would never have lived through the accident (thank you USAFA!). Thirteen months later I chose to go through munitions school. It was the Vietnam Era and I could not think of a career field that would get me closer to the “fly and fight” reality. I was physically able to fly, but my self-confidence was shot; so, I chose to do something as close to doing the primary tasks of the Air Force as I could.

I spent 25 years in the munitions, aircraft maintenance, and logistics fields. I received my Master's Degree in Logistics Management in 1972 (after my second tour in Southeast Asia). I had a wonderful career in the support fields. One of the highlights of my career was to be able to find meaningful and interesting jobs that allowed me to spend 12 years in Germany (West Germany at the time). I worked at every level of command from squadron through joint command levels.

When I retired from the Air Force in 1989, I decided I didn't want to work for a large company. I retired in Idaho and went to work for the local Planning and Development Association. I helped individuals acquire job seeking skills and find employment opportunities. This work lasted about six years.

I then decided I was ready to move back into a larger company environment. I went to work for Micron Technology as a Research and Development production operator. I started at the lowest level because I knew literally nothing about semiconductor manufacturing. I remained with Micron for over 13 years and moved up to eventually become a Lead Engineer in the Dry Etch Area. I volunteered to leave Micron during the economic downturn in 2008. I had my military retirement to fall back on; whereas, a lot of my contemporaries only had the income from their current job.

I had not planned to retire at that time, but as things turned out I thought that was where I was going to end up…finally retired. However, that was not to be. I recently signed-on with Transform Solar. This is a joint venture project between Micron Technology and Origins (a large Australian energy company) to design and build solar panels. I am ecstatic about this opportunity to do something meaningful now and in the foreseeable future.

Will I ever retire? I suppose so. Yet, as long as my health and motivation are good, why should I? I choose to be productive as long as I can. When I can't do this anymore, I plan to enter volunteer work in my local community.

Respectfully Yours,

Frank R. Bartlett
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