Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Fred's History


fred.jpg Colonel Frederick D. Gregory reported to the Academy from Washington, DC. While at the Academy, he was a member of the 18th Cadet Squadron. Among his many activities, he was on the wrestling, water polo, soccer and rugby teams.

After commissioning as a second lieutenant in 1964, Fred went on to log 7,000 hours in more than 50 types of U.S. aircraft, including 550 combat missions in Vietnam. He routinely took on dangerous assignments as a helicopter rescue pilot, combat rescue pilot, fighter pilot, operational test pilot, and a research test pilot, with a selfless concern for saving lives and advancing American technological capabilities and space exploration. In 1978, Fred was selected as a pilot astronaut, where he continued his career at NASA as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

gregory.jpg Fred's passion and service was especially noticed after the 1986 Challenger accident. He worked tirelessly to help NASA return to flight and soon after commanded two space missions. He was the first African American to pilot a space shuttle and the first African American to command any space vehicle. He has logged 455 hours in space as pilot for the orbiter Challenger in 1985, as spacecraft commander aboard Discovery in 1989, and as spacecraft commander aboard Atlantis in 1991. In 1993, Fred retired from military service but continued to serve at NASA.

Confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2002, Fred became NASA's Deputy Administrator, making him the first African American deputy in the agency. He was NASA's chief operating officer, charged with the responsibility of—among many activities—implementing the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and President Bush's ambitious vision for robotic and human exploration of space. Fred was entrusted with ensuring the safety of some of science's most prized technological assets—the Space shuttle and International Space Station—and for setting the course for the next stage of space flight. In February 2005, Fred was named the agency's Acting Administrator, in which capacity he served until his retirement later that year.

In 2006, Fred became the Managing Director for aerospace and Defense Strategies, Lohfield Consulting Group.

Fred earned a master's degree in information systems from George Washington University. He is a member or past member of numerous societies, including the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Tuskegee Airmen, and Association of Space Explorers. Fred has been or currently is a board member at the Maryland Science Center, Young Astronaut Council, Kaiser Permanente, Photonics Laboratory at Fisk University and the Engineering College at Howard University.

Fred has been personally committed to conveying to America's youth the importance of staying in school and the excitement of aeronautics and space and has given more than 3,500 presentations to schools, colleges and universities. He also orchestrated NASA's participation in a U.S. Air Force program that finds flight training for minority Air Force Reserve Office Training Corps candidates. Fred enjoys being a mentor for students who are pursuing careers in engineering, mathematics and science.

His honors include the President's Distinguished Rank Award, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, three NASA Space Flight Medals, two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award, George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award, named twice as one of the 50 Top Black Technologists, and holds honorary degrees from the College of Aeronautics, the University of the District of Columbia, and Southwestern University. He was named a United States Air Force Academy Distinguished Graduate in 2004.

Compiled from multiple sources by Doug Jenkins, ‘64


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