Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Terry Isaacson's History

terry.jpg Like most of my classmates in the Class of 1964, I had opportunities to attend many different universities, as well as Army, Navy and Air Force. In the spring of my senior year in high school, I signed an athletic tender from the University of Michigan while a nomination to the Academy by the Honorable Harold Collier, my Congressman from the First District of Illinois, was pending. When I accepted the appointment to the Academy, my life changed forever, and I'm often asked why I chose Air Force over Michigan. My answer -- I thought I had a better chance to play football and wrestle at Air Force than Michigan, not because I wanted to fly or make the Air Force a career. Thank goodness I was right.

My four years at the Academy and 27 years in the Air Force were packed with experiences and memories that could fill the pages of several books. Some day I hope to write a memoir or a non-fiction piece that captures the cadet experience from my perspective -- then and now. I've been thinking about it for years, and it will take many more years to complete. For the history of the Class of 1964 project, I'll include a brief bio and a few anecdotal recollections of my time at the Academy and my career in our Air Force.

I treasure the experiences and friendships created at the Academy. While I am closest to my teammates and squadron mates from Tiger Ten, the bonds among classmates that have formed over the years will last a lifetime. I am intensely proud to be a member of the Academy's sixth graduating class -- the Class of 1964 -- and to have had the opportunity to serve my country for more than three decades.


After 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, Isaacson retired as a Colonel and returned to Arizona where he had served as Wing Commander at Williams Air Force Base, the largest undergraduate pilot training operation in the country. When Williams closed in 1993, he negotiated the conveyance of 614 acres of the former base to Arizona State University for the purpose of creating a new campus. As a Vice Provost, he was responsible for facilities, business services, campus housing and the physical conversion of a military base to a vibrant university campus. After 15 years at ASU, he continued working with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Air Force and other federal, state and local jurisdictions on the economic development of the ASU Polytechnic campus and the greater East Valley of Arizona. Now fully retired, Isaacson is enjoying life with family and friends, traveling, golfing and pursuing his passion for writing.


Oak Park-River Forest High School, Oak Park, Illinois – 1960
United States Air Force Academy – 1964
Florida State University, MBA – 1972

United States Air Force

1964-65 – Pilot training, Vance AFB, Oklahoma
1965-69 – T-38 instructor pilot, Webb AFB, Texas
1969-71 – F-4E fighter pilot, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand
1972-77 – Intercollegiate football coach, U.S. Air Force Academy
1977-81 – T-37 instructor pilot and Squadron Commander, Columbus AFB, Mississippi
1981-82 – Chief, Training Management Division, AF Manpower and Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas
1982-83 – Chief, Rated Officer Career Management, AFMPC, Randolph AFB, Texas
1984-85 – Commander, Air Force Basic Military Training School, Lackland AFB, Texas
1985-87 – Commander, 82nd Flying Training Wing, Williams AFB, Arizona
1987-89 – Defense Attaché designate, Defense Intelligence Agency and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
1989-91 – U.S. Defense and Air Attaché, Republic of the Philippines

Arizona State University

1992-95 – Senior Planning Officer, ASU Tempe Campus
1995-99 – Director, Administrative Services, ASU East Campus
1999-2006 – Vice Provost, Administrative Services, ASU at the Polytechnic Campus

Other Notables

Served on USAF Academy Board of Visitors, October 2006 to November 2010
USAFA Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009
Author of three novels: A Flight Through Life, 2005; The Coronado Illusions, 2007; CLOSURE, 2010
Married to Nancy; two daughters, Heather and Hollie; four grandchildren, Ashley, Thomas, Lauren and Ava
Life interests and goals – family, friends, travel, writing and maintaining a single-digit handicap

[ My Cadet Days ]
[ My Photo Memory Bank ]

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