Class Of 1964 USAF Academy2 Bill's History


bill2.jpg Spouse: Marcia

Kids: 3 living,1 deceased (Eve on 12/31/09)

4 Grandkids

Current Address: 3716 Welwyn Way, Bedford, TX 76021 (½ way between N. Dallas and N. Fort Worth)


Career Field: Signals Intelligence (USAFSS, ESC, CINCPAC)

USAF Training Command (Sqdn Cmdr, BMT and OTS)

64 - 65 Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX

(daughter Eve born)

My eyes gave in to my “Roman candle” study habits disqualifying me from pilot training. My Fulbright Scholarship to Spain was disapproved by the State Department. (They didn't think I would have much success with my project since it required the Spanish government to disclose sensitive state documents showing how the Nazi's influenced the Franco regime during WWII.) So I looked through the other career fields open to me and decided to try to elevate the oxymoron, Military Intelligence, to oxygenious status. With my background in Spanish, I thought I would be a good add to government efforts on the Cuban problem. And off to west Texas I went for tech school with circuitous routing through Europe (our 60-day leave after graduation). Arriving San Angelo, I quickly learned the only social activity that fall was the Friday Night Lights at Bobcat stadium. High school football and Dairy Queen were “everything” in west Texas in those days. My biggest achievements that year were adding little Eve to our family and winning the base golf driving championship.

65 - 68 Shu Lin Kou AS, Taiwan

(lived in suburb of Taipei)

AFMPC in their infinite wisdom didn't seem to pick up on the Spanish thing, and sent me off to Taiwan for three years to work the Chinese problem. The only Chinese I knew at that point was \sayonara until someone told me that was Japanese. Well, I'm a little better now, but not much. I had 60 Chinese linguists under me and got lazy. My fondest memory of Taiwan was how far my $350/month base pay would go. We rented a 3-bedroom house for $75/month. Had a full-time live-in Amah (maid/babysitter/cook) for $25/month. Got free transportation to work. Got three years of free electricity due to some screw-up at the local utility company. Best of all, we could buy a fifth of practically any booze under the sun for $1/bottle at the Embassy Shop. With all our “typhoon” parties, I don't remember near as much as I should. I do know that after all that we still saved money. In those days, they gave us folks in SE Asia 10% tax-free interest if we bought those government war bonds or whatever they were.

68 - 69 Beale AFB, CA attached to SR-71 Wing

(son Ken born)

It was fun being associated with the 9th SRW and the SR-71. I headed up a detachment of intel linguists handling an intel collection effort on the vehicle. Beyond that, my biggest personal achievement was to add my first son, Ken, to the family. It's funny how we guys think we are such studs when we have another child.

69 - 70 Maxwell for SOS; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy NY for Masters

(Landed man on the moon, but still had segregation in Montgomery)

The Air Force decided it was time for me to get d"re-edjumacated" and gave me a few choices for a Masters degree. Not wanting to be away from my career field too long, I selected the one I could get through the fastest. In two semesters I could get an MS in Management from RPI. On the way to New York, we spent the summer slumming it at Lanier Courts (now public housing) in Montgomery, AL.

My most poignant memories from SOS were getting thrown out of a local restaurant because one of our section members was black (I couldn't believe it), and watching Neil Armstrong simulate his golf swing on the moon. Fortunes went my way and I wound up first academically in my class of 104 students at SOS.

My best memory of grad school days was watching on TV, Sunday, Jan 12th, 1969, when Broadway Joe guaranteed victory then kicked butt against the heavily favored Colts in Super Bowl III – the first ever victory for the AFL over the NFL. Oh yeah, I also enjoyed letting my sideburns grow a little longer like our civilian counterparts. I was also reassured that our mufti-clad brethren were no smarter than we if not less endowed upstairs.

71 - 72 Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN, EC-47s

(Golf clubs to the War Zone)

After a quick year at Kelly AFB as a MajCom staff officer, I volunteered for Vietnam in order to have some control over my destiny job and time-wise. Good career move, bad move for family integrity – it cost me my first marriage. I ran the Air Force ARDF center in Saigon and was attached to an Army outfit under the purview of MACV. The Army Group commander was an avid golfer so he and I snuck in a quick round each Wednesday on the way back from our weekly MACV intel briefing. It just happened that the Saigon Golf and Country Club was directly on our route back. And its bunkers were “true” bunkers, machine guns and all. After a Christmas leave in the CONUS, I decided to bring my own sticks back to the war zone. I was quite a sight in the Oakland airport USO donning jungle fatigues with golf clubs over shoulder as I waited for redeployment to the war zone.

72 - 75 Kelly AFB, TX, HQ USAFSS

(Turned down USAFA professorship)

I returned to my exact same staff job at Kelly after my Vietnam tour and stayed in San Antonio for the next nine years. I may have the record for homesteading with a total of 10 years in San Antonio out of 20 years commissioned. During this time, I almost left for an Academy professorship teaching Spanish, but learned from several classmates that the Foreign Language Dept head was known as a career killer when it came to OERs.

75 - 81 Lackland AFB, TX, BMTS and OTS

(remarried in 79; Marcia)

For six years, I indulged in “career broading” special duty assignments as a Basic Military Training then OTS squadron commander. My MTIs in basic training loved to caution their trainees that if they didn't shape up, they would have to deal with a real “Major Scare.” LOL

My biggest worry was to be ready for no-notice stand-eval inspections. Among my female trainees, our biggest concern during these inspections was dorm security. The dorm guard was not allowed to let any males in the dorm during the evening hours. To test their security, I would occasionally go to their dorms after hours and make sure the dorm guard would NOT let me in despite the fact that I was their commander. This backfired one time when the dorm guard not only let me in, but called the dorm to attention as the women were coming out of the shower. I saw my career going before my eyes, just knowing one of women would surely call home reporting the incident. Nonetheless, it didn't happen.

I met the true love of my life, Marcia Rivero, during this assignment – a beautiful young second lieutenant Cuban refugee who wound up being selected “Woman of the Year” by the San Antonio Express-News in 1980 and later made major two years below-the-zone working for General Iosue, the ATC commander.

81 - 84 Camp Smith, HI HQ CINCPAC

(daughter Malia born)

AFMPC finally caught up with this homesteader in 1981 and banished me, my new bride and young step-son Kevin to Hawaii for the next three years. I had to leave my older two children, Eve and Ken, in San Antonio with their mother. In Hawaii, I worked at CINCPAC, Camp Smith, in charge of signals intelligence collection management for the Pacific theater. Marcia worked in DCS, Personnel, HQ PACAF, at Hickam. What I remember best are the four military golf courses within 20 minutes of our home that cost only $4 a round. I had the misfortune of working for a general that dragged me out every Wednesday afternoon to play one of those courses.


Whether Hawaii or Scotland, this would be my favorite photo op: "The Shot From The Gorse"

On the weekends, Marcia and I had a ritual of hitting a different beach around the island every Sunday. Marcia and I also got into running and ran the 1982 Honolulu Marathon. I became an addict and went on to run the 1983 Marine Corps Marathon while TDY at the Pentagon, and then came back to Hawaii to run the 1983 Honolulu a short month later. So my claim to fame is: three marathons in 366 days.

My biggest achievement though was fathering my second daughter, Malia, while enjoying the beaches, golf, running, and making sure another “Pearl Harbor” didn't happen on my watch. In July of 1984, I retired and moved back to San Antonio, TX.


Relocated to San Antonio, TX to be with all my children.

84 - 92: Worked as beltway bandit doing intelligence systems contract work.

(Wife, Marcia, was a major assigned to HQ ATC protcol, AFMPC Colonels Group, and AFMTC as a Squadron Commander)

92 - present: Relocated to Dallas-Fort Worth area with Marcia's reassignment

Marcia was assigned to Carswell AFB as the Support Group Commander and later turned down offer to interview for the JCS Chairman's Chief of Protocol position in favor of retirement in 1995.

I built a Wealth Management practice with Merrill Lynch in Dallas. I'd been buying stocks and investing since I was a paperboy in high school, and once heard, “If you could make your hobby your job, you'd never work another day in your life.”

So when we came to the DFW area I decided to do just that. I was also told by the guy who hired me that if I worked harder than ever for the first few years, I would live better than ever from that point on. I must say that it has been refreshing to have a job that rewards success in hard dollars and promotions without requirements for time-in-service or time-in-grade. Wow, what a concept! For 19 years now I have loved every minute of it and truly haven't felt I've worked a day. People ask when I plan on retiring. I tell them I retired in 1984 and now just work for fun.


What was your favorite assignment?

It's hard to beat three years in Hawaii, especially when all my kids were visiting. Least favorite? A year away from my kids in Vietnam was not my idea of fun.

Are any of your kids/grandkids in the military?

No interest. Two sons went to University of Texas. My youngest daughter, Malia, went to Stanford, then became a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, and is now a Wealth Advisor for Merrill Lynch's Private Banking division in Houston. My oldest daughter, Eve, tragically died of lung cancer on Dec 31st 2009. Her daughter is our oldest grandchild and is only seven. My son, Ken, is in the energy business, works out of San Antonio, and has a 6-year old son. My other son, Kevin, is a firefighter in Summit County, Colorado and lives with his wife and two boys (2 and 4) in Denver.

What's your favorite Cadet story/memory?

Lots of good memories from the South American field trip. Served as the trip Spanish spokesman with TV and radio appearances in several countries.

The memory that takes the cake, though, was when my doolie roommate, Jay Kelley, got cold-cocked by the terrazzo, broken jaw and all, when he was just standing there in formation at attention, minding his own business … and passed out! Jay had to eat out of a straw for the next six weeks and could hardly say a thing. In those days, people would do anything to avoid reciting fourth-class knowledge.

Looking back, was going to the Academy a good decision for you?

I can't imagine anything else. I was born and raised in a military family. When I was in grade school, my dad was telling me about how soon the Air Force would have an Academy like West Point (his alma mater).

How /Where did you meet your spouse?

She taught the basic trainees in my BMT squadron at Lackland AFB, and she used to pass by my office from time to time and bless it with her beauty.

What are your current interests/hobbies?

Investing and golf.

What prompted you to separate early/stay until retirement from the USAF?

I was a lifer at birth, but wound up retiring early to return to San Antonio where my oldest two children lived.

If you are working currently, what are you doing?

I have grown a healthy book of business as a Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch.

Where's your favorite vacation destination?

Hawaii and Playacar, Mexico.

Claim to fame among CS01 classmates?

1) Homesteading record: 10 of 20 commission years in San Antonio.

2) Running three marathons in 366 days.

3) Running 18,000 miles after retiring from the Air Force.

4) Holing out a 235 yard approach shot for a double-eagle 2 on a par 5 in golf.


Marcia and Bill at almost 60 and almost 70 after 33 years together. Where has all the time gone?

If you stand anymore stuff amount me, you can find a recent Merrill Lynch Bio by clicking on MLBio.pdf below:

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