FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., - As father and son, Col. Michael W. Minor and Cadet Isaac A. Minor haven’t been able to spend a whole lot of time with each other over the past couple of years.
Both men got a chance to spend 10 of the toughest days in the Army together as they started and completed Air Assault training at the Fort Campbell’s Sabalauski Air Assault School.
“Outside of (Air Assault School), we see each other about three to four times a year,” said Isaac, a Cadet at the University of Virginia College at Wise. “That was the good part about it is I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with him the last year or two, and now I finally got to spend the past month with him getting smoked the whole time.”
The school provided the Minors with a perfect opportunity to do a little father-son bonding. Michael, commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) rear detachment, and was the honor graduate for Air Assault School class 30-13.
“I was going to go anyways with our big push to get all of our troopers Air Assault qualified,” Michael said. “I couldn’t sit there and tell people ‘you got to go’ when I didn’t have my wings. Plus being 49 years old definitely sets an example for these young guys.”
The Minors both agreed that “zero day” was the toughest part of the 10-day course.
“It goes along the lines of you wanting to follow in the footsteps of your leadership, and I saw that between Col. Minor and his son,” said Staff Sgt. Zilvinas Lapelis, senior Air Assault instructor for team 3.
Lapelis said it was rare for two family members to attend Air Assault School at the same time.
“It’s great to see a father and son, a full-bird colonel and a cadet, going through the same training where no one received any special treatment, and both successfully completed the course,” Lapelis said. “As a leader, you set the example, and that’s what he was doing for his son and the other soldiers in the class.”
Also attending the ceremony was Michael’s father, Walter N. Minor, a former Army paratrooper and at one point was the oldest paratrooper in the Army.
Walter graduated paratrooper school in 1951, was stationed at Fort Campbell with the 11th Airborne Division from 1951 until 1954 and had his last military parachute jump at the age of 64.
Walter also pinned the Air Assault Badge on his grandson during the ceremony.
“It’s not something you can just walk in and do,” Michael said. “There is a lot of prep that needs to be involved in order to be successful in this course.”
Isaac is scheduled to go to Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash., and wants to become an infantry officer upon graduation.
“I was excited and glad that I got to do my first big military thing with my father,” Isaac said.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to do something like this with him as he starts his career,” Michael said.