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Attitude Problem

Mike Novack

In the late 70's I had a severe case of 'I-don't-give-a-shit' going on in relation to my AF career. At this point in my life, decades later, it's clear to me that things were nowhere near as bad as they seemed at the time. But then, like most late-20-something know-it-all captains it was clear to me that I was not going to make the AF a career.

I planned my exit by getting an MBA via one of the on-base advanced degree programs, served my time, got out, went into the computer biz, and didn't look back at the AF for a long, long time.

During that final two years one of my best friends and I were flying quite a bit together on trip after trip and sort of developed a secret code between ourselves that served to reinforce our intentions of departing the AF when our commitments were up. When some command post would try to f**k us over with a crew duty day extension, a waiver for questionable maintenance problems, when a new MAC edict that we didn't agree with would come down from on high .. when just about ANYTHING would happen we'd just look at each other and repeat in unison "THAT'S JUST ONE MORE REASON!".

To complete the MBA program it was necessary to take a 'day job' in the training office which pretty much let me control my flying schedule so I could be home for Friday/Saturday/Sunday classes that took place on base, sometimes once per month, sometimes every other week, depending on the class. The squadron schedulers were very accommodating and during the entire two years of the program I don't recall missing a single class.

In January of 1978 I firmed up a Date of Separation of 15 Oct 78 and started my countdown calendar. One of the bits of paper I brought with me from my office duties was the following:

When people tried to get me to do things in the Training Office I'd show them this letter. It worked most of the time.

The letter above was under the plexiglass on my desk back in the training office at the 8th MAS at McChord. It was too big to carry around with me on my trips all over the world, so on a trip to Yokota I when to one of the little shops at the BX run by the local vendors and had some special calling cards printed up. These worked almost as well as the "I can do anything" letter.

All my bridges were burned! There was no turning back now.

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