ARLINGTON, Wash. - Acrobatic aircraft swooped overhead here as the U.S. Air Force Reserve's newest officer candidate took the oath of enlistment July 12.
Robert T. Meunier, 26, of Seattle took the oath during the Arlington Fly-in, a massive air show that takes place every July. Fly-in organizers said it is the third-largest event of its type in the United States.
Meunier, a native of Issaquah, Wash., will attend Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., before beginning training to become a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. He will be assigned to the 728th Airlift Squadron, 446th Airlift Wing, Join Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Meunier, a 2009 graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, works in commercial real estate in civilian life, but said he's always had the flying bug.
"A desk job isn't really for me," he said.
Meunier, a non-prior-service airman, said the process from initially contacting his recruiter to getting sworn in took about two years, "but it was worth it."
Master Sgt. Yvette Larson of the Western Recruiting Squadron worked with Meunier during the enlistment process. And when it was time to have Meunier take the oath of enlistment, she knew just who to call to administer it, she said.
Steven Bass, of Marysville, Wash., retired a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force Reserve, and was a member of the 728th. In civilian life, he's a pilot for Alaska Airlines. Bass would do the honors.
"I've done a couple of swearing-in ceremonies for Yvette," Bass said. "I did the first one at my house, and doing it here [at the Fly-in] really is special," he said.
Meunier will spend a few more years working towards his goal of being a fully-qualified Air Force pilot. After OTS, he'll attend flight school, and it will be more than two years until he's finished with training. But that doesn't concern him.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge," Meunier said.