Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Fred's History

I enlisted 14 November 1957 right out of high school. I passed an audition and was assigned as a musician (French horn) to various Air Force field bands.

Next, I went to USMAPS -59, (i.e. West Point Prep School), as the USAFA Prep School hadn't been yet invented. Having failed to get a direct USAFA appointment, I applied for Aviation Cadets. Then, after being rejected by Aviation Cadets (too-tall sitting height for pilot training), I reapplied for a direct AF appointment and was, on my 4th attempt, surprisingly accepted into the Class of 64. Upperclassmen failed to see any humor that I entered USAFA only as my 2nd choice. I celebrated my 21st birthday by sitting at attention.

Somehow, I hung on and attained graduation standing in the upper ¾ of my class and was assigned to Navigator training and Electronic Warfare School. Post-completion in 1966, I insanely volunteered and was assigned directly to Takhli AB, Thailand flying EB-66s over NVN supporting Rolling Thunder. After two subsequent B-52 assignments, including an Arc Light tour, I applied for assignment as a psychology instructor, detoured through grad school, and taught at USAFA from 1971 to 1974. By 1975, after reassignment to yet another B-52 unit, it was pretty clear that I had no future in sitting backwards in a B-52. (At last it can be told, I never did like being flown.)

Because my health had been severely compromised (I was sick of the Air Force), I resigned, took a reserve commission, and went back to graduate school in experimental/cognitive psychology. I had always been seized by the desire to do writing and research. In 1978, my wife Susan and I became proud parents of a son (later a Chicago attorney!) Carl, so we had a powerful incentive to return to the taxpayer roles. So by 1979, having attained the dubious title of Herr Doktor Professor, I taught human factors engineering at the University of Southern California for five years and then went to Boeing Aerospace and Systems Research Labs for another five years.

As most of my colleagues agree, aerospace is risky business, and having survived two layoffs, I was possessed of an inordinate desire to eat. Therefore, I decided to cross-train for yet another year in graduate school as a clinical psychologist – that is, I began treating crazy and/or stupid people. I spent 10 years in Ohio prisons from 1989 to 1999, alas not as an inmate, but as a psychology supervisor.

All the while, I kept up in the AF Reserve, retiring as an O-5 in 1993. Here is a photo taken on that happy occasion.

Always a poor learner and having never learned my lesson about volunteering, I wanted to pile up more points. Hence, I resigned my commission and reappeared immediately as a staff sergeant in an Ohio medevac unit as a psychiatric technician. I retired again as an E-5. What the heck -- if Lawrence of Arabia could go from Colonel to private, I could do it too. From 1957 to 1999, the official record shows I had risen from Airman Basic to Staff Sergeant. Here is the evidence for all you skeptics out there.

Following my final retirements from both the State of Ohio and the AF Reserve in 1999, my old cadet student, Col. Mark Hyatt, offered me a (nonpaid of course) position as Visiting Scholar for Honor in the Center for Character Development.

My mother was a distinguished university linguistics professor, so following in my mother's footsteps, I've continued to do mostly writing and research along with some private psychology practice. At last count – and it's difficult to keep up count – I've published or presented well over 100 professional articles and papers, nearly all of it in psychobabble. I'm still tweaking up several book manuscripts. My favorite topics are UFOs, honesty, and dishonesty. Collaborating with the USAFA Economics Department over the past 11 years, we've had considerable success with mathematical modeling of honor systems.

Along that road, I've also enjoyed contributing 25 articles to Checkpoints. Considering that our AOG magazine has no excess of humor, I've attempted to remedy that shortcoming. Click on the links below to access several of the articles I've written for Checkpoints.

Fred Malmstrom ‘64
Society of Old Trolls
[ When Slide Rules Ruled the Rockies ]
[ Compulsory Chapel ]
[ I Woke Up Screaming ]
[ What Killed the Dodo? ]
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