Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Before USAFA

By Bob Levins

Unlike most of you who entered the Academy’s Class of ’64 right out of high school, I had a year to think about it. The first six months of that year I worked as an apprentice draftsman at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in Camden New Jersey. I earned enough to pay for tuition to enroll at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. I entered their “Co-Op” program in ME. The "Co-Op” program was a quarter (3 month) vs. semester (4 month) program. Students attended school for the first 3 quarters, worked the next 2 quarters to earn tuition money, back to school for 2 quarters, work for 2, etc. It took 5 years to get a 4 year degree. Since I was the oldest of 6 kids, and my Dad never made more than $25,000 in a year, my college options were limited. I was the first, and only member of my immediate family (including my Dad) to attend college. Dad worked at RCA for more than 35 years. At the end of his career, he managed over 125 people and his division produced the first RCA videotape machines for network TV (1960 thru 64).

I applied to the Academy as a high school senior but didn’t get selected. I tried again after graduation and made it.
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