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Gen Deppe retirement
Image by Air Force Space Command
42 years of just "a little longer"
8/10/2009 – PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. Hollywood’s box office hits were, "The Graduate," "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Cool Hand Luke." Gasoline was 33 cents a gallon, movie tickets were .25, the average cost of a new home was ,250 and a new car would cost around ,750. That was 1967–the year Maj. Gen. Thomas Deppe, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., attended boot camp at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
"At that time you were either in college or you got drafted," said General Deppe. "I had just dropped out of college, and then came my draft notice in the mail not too long after."
Convinced by a friend that the Air Force was the way to go, the young Thomas Deppe proceeded to the recruiting office to sign on the dotted line, with little knowledge of the positive impact that signature would have on his life.
"I had no plans on staying in the Air Force any longer than I had to," General Deppe said. "But as time went on and I made staff sergeant in less than four years, I thought, ‘Well, why not stay in a little longer?’ I already had a job that I liked, why would I quit it when I might get something on the outside I didn’t like?"
That "little longer" became 42 years of military service. Putting his enlisted career behind him, General Deppe earned his commission in November 1977.
"It was an interesting switch," he said. "I went from having credibility with my job as a technical sergeant, to a brand new lieutenant with no credibility whatsoever."
General Deppe continued in the officer ranks with the intention of retiring as a captain. In fact, when it came time for him to pin on captain, 21 years of service had already passed. Captain Deppe continued on with his career. In March 1987, continuing to prove himself, he was selected for major below-the-zone, squelching, yet again, his intention to retire. He could have turned down the promotion and went ahead with his plans, but instead he chose to extend his commitment to the Air Force just "a little longer".
"It seems like every time I thought about it, I committed more and more to the Air Force," General Deppe said. "Every promotion requires you to stay in that position for a certain amount of time. I kept getting promoted, so I stayed in the Air Force."
The Air Force can only be thankful that General Deppe said "just a little longer", his solid commitment can be seen through his 42 years of service. Airmen can only be inspired by his commitment. It takes loyalty, dedication and determination. A sense of belonging, a family, a family of…Airmen is what General Deppe finds most rewarding.
This is what General Deppe had to say during his retirement interview:
What is your most enjoyable/rewarding part of your military career?
"You, the ‘cream of the crop’…Airmen just like you are the reason I have enjoyed my military career and found it so rewarding, both enlisted and commissioned. I am proud to belong and will always.
What/who was your biggest influence while you served?
I had a boss, Col. Raymond "Hal" Cleveland; he was the director of intercontinental ballistic missile requirements. He mentored me more on officership and life than anyone else. He also is the person who’s responsible for teaching me how to golf. I am forever indebted to him. Unfortunately, Hal passed away in the late 90’s. I am sure where he is he can see me and what I’m doing…
What made you decide to be an officer?
You have to want to be an officer … I wanted to be one. You have to be up to greater challenges in life. There are two kinds of prior enlisted officers: the really good and the really bad. I’ve known a few in the really bad category. In my case, I was not a very good first-term Airman; in fact, I was probably pretty lousy. I enlisted in the Air Force to avoid the draft, to get the education benefits and to get marketable skills.
Along the way, I realized all the fun you could have and that’s why I re-enlisted. After the fun wore off, I realized I had to get serious about this, and I got sent to NCO prep school, which is now Airman Leadership School. It was the turning point in my career, because it made me realize just how important everything is. I don’t care if you are a public affairs officer or a personnel Airman, or a security forces team member, or even the two-star general in charge of 20th Air Force, everyone of us has a very important role. I had an eye-opening experience. When I realized just how important this business is and just how much I liked it. As a result of this I became a prep school instructor part-time, and then I volunteered to be a recruiter and then attended Officer Training School.
While being stationed around the United States and beyond, what assignment was your favorite and why?
That’s a really hard question, I never really had a bad one. Ironically both of my shortest tours were my favorite, not because of the location but because of the mission. I was a ground launch cruise missile flight commander in Belgium. Back then we were like pioneers, we wrote the rules as we went along and it was really exciting. The second was vice commander at the 45th Space Wing, Patrick AFB, Fla., where we were launching rockets and putting people in space. It was a very busy year, one of the busiest on record. I can’t complain…
Upon your departure, what would you like to pass on to fellow Airmen?
If I’m nothing else to anyone in the Air Force, let me be an inspiration for the opportunities that are available in the Air Force. I don’t think I passed up on any of them; be it education benefits, promotion opportunities, fitness centers, auto hobby shops, golf course, or the club systems. The opportunities that I took advantage of to become a two-star general are the same opportunities that are available to you.
Do you have any plans for your retirement?
Well first I’m going to take some time off…I have been going to work every day for 42 years, one month, and two days. My wife and I are going to take a couple trips. After about a few months I will see what is available work-wise. Before the end of the baseball season I want to get back to St. Louis, and catch a couple games.
What do you think you are going to miss the most?
That is easy, the people. It’s always the people. I have such a great love for my Air Force family, the people I have met along the way. I plan to keep them as family for the rest of my life.
Do you have any farewell comments?
It’s been an extremely fast 42 years, I can still remember the day I got on the train and left St. Louis for basic training in San Antonio, Texas. It seems like it was just yesterday and it goes by so fast, but I can remember people at every place I have been stationed that made a difference. I hope that in my 42 years I have been able to make a difference to some people as they have made a difference to me.
Image by timtak
1) Buy a bike and cycle, fast, and get fairly, medium-build, fit
2) Enroll in a fun run of your choice
3) Stretch your legs for about 15mins a week and a hour on the day using a hard stretch routine such as a karate warm up routine
4) Beat lots of runners in the fun run, and feel good about cycling some more.
5) Keep doing 1- 4 because your knees and achilles tendons won’t get worn out
You may have heard of "Chi-Running," ("A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running"). Forget it. Cyclo-Stretch Running (CSR) is a technique of running, fast, that cuts out the running almost entirely! Last weekend I recorded a personal best 10km run of 41 minutes 29 seconds without having run more than once in the previous year. At my age level (48) 41:29 is pretty fast, so I felt I should share the good news.
Taking part in a local fun run is motivating. A lot of people take up running precisely because they can take part in a local ‘marathon’ or shorter event. Hundreds of people turn up, so you can be confident of running with other people. You will feel the competitive heat, and enjoy the adrenalin rush whether you run 10k in sub 40 minutes (as serious runners do) or take more than one hour. With all those people running, there will be plenty of supporters and even, or especially, the person coming in last will get a cheer.
The problem is that running, especially on a road, is hard on the legs, especially the Achilles tendons and knees. It is okay if you are as thin as a runner, but if you work in an office the chances are you are not built like Mo Farah or Martin Rees.
This means that carrying on a "normal," fairly sedentary 21st century lifestyle and taking part in fun-runs, in the plural, is quite difficult. Sooner or later you are going to get injured. And a lot of us, give up.
Enter the bike. Bicycle technology is just amazing these days. You can buy a performance bicycle weighing less than 9Kg for 00 or1500 Euros. That is some serious money, but it is a price that a lot of 40 somethings can afford, when their health is on the line. If you like you can think of the bike, as an ultra-high tech, and really expensive pair of running shoes. Costing between 10 and 20 times the price of running shoes, your bike will not just ‘reduce the stress of impact with the road’, but remove it completely. If the bike is made out of carbon fibre (as the Azzurri above) then it will smooth out even minor surface irregularities allowing you to glide along really fast, like you are sprinting in mid air. You will burn off the calories and flab in a flash. Cyclists do not pound the pavement, but the raise their pulse just as much, if not more than, runners. I chase cars. If you can avoid road accidents, cycling is as easy on the body as swimming. I lost 8Kg after taking up cycling and became, at the end of the summers, almost svelte.
But what about competition cycling? Here lies the problem with cycling. Competition cycling appears to me to be more than a little fraught. There are not so many "time trial" competitions where cyclists set off at intervals and cycle on their own. Most cycle races consist of a group of cyclists riding in a formation or ‘peleton’. The ability to ‘draft,’ or use the slipstream of, riders around you means that average speeds can be in excess of 35km an hour, and that includes the corners. Cornering in a formation of hot and competitive 40 something year olds is not for the faint-hearted. The sort of injuries that can be sustained in a bike race make chilblains of runners knees.
So what do you do? The no-brain answer is to cycle to keep fit, and fairly thin, by non-competitive cycling, on your own or with friends, to places you like, or on your commute, and then to take part in the occasional competitive fun run to give yourself a goal, and to prove to your spouse that all that cash spent on the latest bike equipment is money well spent.
This may seem all very well in no-brain theory but in practice there is a problem. Precisely because running is so bad for the legs, it becomes difficult to compete with runners who are either super thin, or used to the pounding their feet onto hard surfaces. You know you want to compete with runners, but at the same time you don’t want to be quite so self-destructive.
I found that after a couple of years on my bike, I could compete with runners coming in somewhere near the top 10-20% of older men but my legs would be like logs for days after a race. I took part in a 20K race and my legs turned to logs or like, stilts during the race. I was almost bedridden the following day. All to be expected, since cyclists probably do deserve legs of death, if they compete with runners, because they have not done the training suitable to the task.
Enter karate warm up stretching. The most important two things about about running fast is being fit and thin, or thin and fit. The third most important thing is being supple. If you don’t have the suppleness in your tendons your legs are going to turn to stone. Runners’ legs are supple, since not only have they warmed-up and stretched, but also they have practiced bashing their feet on tarmac over and over again. You do not need to do this. There is an easier, dare I say ‘more intelligent’, way.
I found that if I do leg stretching such as typical of karate warm-up exercises (see videos) not only before the fun run race but regularly, then this provides the suppleness that allows me to use my cyclists legs and cardiac fitness to compete with runners. Karate stretching is not the only stretch routine that would do the trick. But since karate involves a lot of high kicking, all karate practice starts with about 15 minutes of stretching pretty much all of the tendons in the legs.
It is not as if runners have special muscles. A lot of them have have legs that are so thin that they appear to have few muscles at all. Again it is not as if running is rocket science. One can impersonate a good runner’s, short, low, high-cadence, stride-style just by turning up and mimicking a runner on the day. Of course, if you do do a little bit of running (not enough to hurt yourself) before the race, or every month or two, then that will also help.
I have only just taken up (karate) stretching and I am still very stiff. If I continue with this stretching, and I am right about the theory, then by this time next year my legs will be as supple as a runners, and it seems to me that cycling gives me cardio-fitness to spare. Will I be able to make sub 40 minutes by the time I am fifty, running only yearly on race days? It is going to be exciting to find out.
1) I did run quite a lot, non-competitively, jogging to stay fit, till my late thirties. The above is not recommended to those that have never done any running.
2) I may have a big heart, or for reasons unknown, I have a low rest-state pulse rate, typically about 50 beats per minute when I am sitting down.
3) That said, I don’t think this about me. I cycle 6 hours or 160 km or so a week (mainly commuting). Cyclists that do distance this are generally fit and not overweight. My minor peculiarity is that I want to run, have run, do run, and also do the stretching too.
4) Cycling is not recommended to those that live in large cities. Cars may break your legs faster than running will. I do not live in a large city.
5) My legs do hurt today, two days after my 10k. I am not saying that karate stretching is going to make you float around the course. However, I have only done karate stretching about 10 times, for all of 2 and a half hours. I think that if I do continue with it, I will get a lot more supple.
6) Stretching is no fun at all. It is only because I have been accompanying my seven year old son to karate practice that, rather than just sitting and watching, I have had the motivation to join in the karate stretch routine. Without this motivational factor – my son’s karate practice – I think I would have found it very difficult to keep doing even only 15 minutes of stretching a week, weak willed person that I am.
7) It still remains to be seen whether I can really improve my running times simply by cycling and stretching. I will report back.
8) On the plus side (of CSR) while I was running two days ago, I did also do it in a sort of karate style! The karate instructor tells us to stand with knees bent, low waist and straight backed, on the balls of our feet. I felt as I was running, that I was sort of mimicking not only the runners but also karate stance, cushioning my foot-falls as a ran. In other words, I may have been really "karate-running", not just cyclo–stretch-running.
9) There is a new option now to make competitive cycling less fraught (but still dangerous): asynchronous competitive cycling as facilitated by Strava and in real-time against "ghosts" with GhostRider. BE CAREFUL.
*** FREE Krav Maga Israeli Women Self Defense courses by Franklin Joseph ***
Image by Franklin Joseph
*** FREE Krav Maga Israeli Women Self Defense courses by Franklin Joseph ***
Franklin Joseph is a Women Safety Empowerment, Women Self Defense Specialist with a combine experience of more than 14 years working, researching and designing workshops for women AFTER understand women issues by working with women who underwent sexual abuse, women who faced violence and women victims of crime.
Women readers, Let’s go beyond, martial arts and self defense, let’s go beyond Krav Maga certificates or Krav Maga organisations. Let’s attack the problem about women being abused, eve-teased or being beaten or raped violently and deal with the situation from a grass-root level by giving knowledge out instead of certificates. If you wish to invite me to your school or college for a FREE introductory session in Bangalore, please call me at +91.9886769281. No pressure to join any organisation, no need to buy any certificates, NO FEES. Remember : Fighting is not the answer to all women problems.
Courage is not the absence of fear, or denial of fear. COURAGE is in-spite of felling fear, you make a effort to protect your dignity and life. Everyday I have meet women who without punching and kicking are surviving and living a life of dignity.
Any self defense or martial arts is usually a arrogant male point of view where the male is telling you, fear is "restrictive paranoid", The male has no knowledge of about women personality or how women makes a choices and what fears and sacrifices she goes through everyday.
The male wants women to become a man, have a man point of view and do what a man does best – fight with punches or kicks. That what happens when a male believes he has bought the knowledge of women issues after buying a martial art certificate but has no invest his time and money in learning about women issues in the grass-root level. My suggestion for all MEN: Work for 10 years with women who have been physically and sexually abused, understand their problem, educate yourself from their POINT OF VIEW before advising women what to do… 🙂
Franklin Joseph Power to Women: Women Safety Awareness, Women Self Defense using Krav Maga and Psychological Empowerment against Violence, Crime and Sexual Abuse [+35 Corporate Clients]
Contact ‘Dr. Safety’ Franklin Joseph 9886769281 [PowertoWomen.in/]
Women Safety Empowerment, Self Defense Specialist
8 years working with abused kids & women + (2003 batch) Krav Maga Self Defense Instructor
35+ International & Indian Corporate Clients in Mumbai, Jaipur, Bangalore etc. :
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KRAV MAGA BANGALORE (IKMF) Israeli Self Defense regular classes held in Richmond Town, Bangalore.
Contact Mr. Franklin Joseph at 9886769281 or visit KravMagaBangalore.in/
We have classes on Saturday 9AM to 12PM (3 hours Class) and Sunday 8AM to 12PM (4 Hours Class) = TOTAL up-to 27 hours of training per week.
KRAV MAGA FOR STUDENTS: Upto 12-16 hours in a month
FEES: Students (below 21 yrs): Rs 800 for 3 hrs Sat. or 4 hrs Sun x 4 weeks
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FEES: Students (below 21 yrs): Rs 1300 for 3 hrs Sat. and 4 hrs Sun x 4 weeks
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FEES: Adults (21-99 yrs): Rs 2300 for 3 hrs Sat. or 4 hrs Sun x 4 weeks
KRAV MAGA FOR ADULTS Upto 24-27 hours in a month
FEES: Adults (21-99 yrs): Rs 2800 for 3 hrs Sat. and 4 hrs Sun x 4 weeks
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The classes are a mixed of knowledge, intensive drills, fun combat games and sparring with multiple attackers with or without weapons which includes half a hour of taking down notes with paper and pen (old school style).
Women reality based KRAV MAGA ISRAELI SELF DEFENSE (IKMF) training where the women is taught to neutralize her attacker in spite of her small size, her lack of fitness and her limited strength dealing with shock, surprise and pain of the assault. The training involves Tactics of Krav Maga along with Psychological Empowerment against Crime, Violence and Sexual Abuse using Neuro Linguistic and Behavioral Drills.
Women Self Defense is a subject that is not just some tactics or tricks of martial arts. Working for more than 7 years with women who have been abused taught me to elevate myself from such pissing contest of testosterone on what is a better martial arts or organisations and get down and dirty with the subject at hand. Women Safety while maintaining her Respect and Dignity. Punches, Kicks, Tactics alone does not help a women when she has to live in the same community or house of her tormentors.
Women Self Defense subject need to re-educate itself, so-called women self defense instructors and experts need to re-educate themselves. Bangalore is second highest in Crime. Delhi is rape capital of India. 2000 years of martial arts is not helping the women! 2000 years of mental outlook of men who train in martial arts is not helping the women! It’s time for women to make a smart decision about where to train and who to train with. Someone with just certificates or someone with knowledge, experience and grass-root level vision of the subject.
Mr. FRANKLIN JOSEPH, is a civilian Krav Maga (IKMF) Self Defense instructor and also a social entrepreneur has worked for more than 7 years with children and women who were sexually and physically abused, designed ‘Power to Women’ Workshops along with a Women Psychologist; conducts Corporate or Organisational Wellness Women Self Defense workshops on Women Safety Awareness, Women Self Defense and Psychological Empowerment against Crime, Violence and Sexual Abuse.
Sensei Franklin Joseph is a Krav Maga Practitioner from 2003 batch which was one of the first batches of Krav Maga in India under Sensei Vicky Kapoor and was later certified by Grand Master Avi Moyal as a Civlian Krav Maga Instructor. He has learned Krav Maga under various Directors and Senior Instructor of IKMF like Sensei Master Vicky Kapoor, Master Shlomi Moyal, Master Gabi Noah and Master Amnon Darsa plus other Senior instructors from Expert level of Krav Maga.