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Schoolhouse unites father, son for C-130 mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Mentors come in many forms -- whether they’re coworkers, supervisors or even friends. They provide personal and professional advice that can impact someone for the rest of their lives.

Airman Trevor Armentrout, 700th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, often receives guidance through one of his mentors, his father, Col. Jeffrey Armentrout, 302nd Airlift Wing vice commander.

The father-and-son duo were recently assigned as students at the 714th Training Squadron here to attend the C-130 Center of Excellence. Col. Armentrout trained to become a C-130 Hercules aircraft pilot while his son trained to become a loadmaster.

“(Being at the schoolhouse) was a treat for me and his mother,” Col. Armentrout said. “We enjoyed some fun recreational excursions together and caught up with Trevor on all his Air Force training experiences.”

Before attending the technical school, Col. Armentrout spent 10 years on active duty as a C-5 Galaxy pilot. In 2000, he transitioned to the Air Force Reserve.

“In the Reserve, I’ve had to spend a lot of time away from my family,” Col. Armentrout said. “Every month I had to leave the house and disappear somewhere for a few days. When I was home, I focused on the things we could do together when we had the time. Both my boys were in the Boy Scouts, so I invested a lot of time doing that with them. I have the fondest memories of those experiences.”

It was during those times and throughout his son’s childhood, Col. Armentrout passed down family values to his son.

“He gave me a good life and I want to provide that for my children, someday,” Airman Armentrout said. “He raised me to want to be willing to help others. My father also made sure I knew I had to earn my way in life, so I want my children to know that too.”

In addition to helping others and working hard, Airman Armentrout felt the need to serve his country.

“Since my dad served in the Air Force, I thought I would serve my country too, but not in the same way he did,” Airman Armentrout said. “And then I thought ‘why not go to school and join the military?’”

“When my son brought up the idea of joining the Air Force, he also indicated he wanted to go to school, so I suggested the Reserve,” Col. Armentrout said.

His son eventually joined the Air Force as a reservist. Now that he has had some time in the Air Force, Airman Armentrout respects and understands what his father does even more.

“Whether he saw it or not, I always thought his job was important,” Airman Armentrout said. “I always understood that. But going into the Air Force gave me an understanding of all he does. I understood why he would have to leave every so often because he was supporting us and our country.”

Growing up with a father in the Air Force influenced the junior Armentrout to enlist and create his own career path in the Air Force.

“(His mother and I) are proud of his decision to serve,” Col. Armentrout said. “The Air Force has been a big part of our life and I know he will benefit from the experience. I’m hopeful that the Air Force Chief of Staff focus on revitalizing the squadron will improve Trevor's overall experience so that he continues a long and rewarding career.”

With the training the Armentrouts have received at Little Rock Air Force Base, Col. Armentrout will be a C-130 pilot and continue in his role as the 302nd AW wing vice commander at Peterson AFB, Colorado. His son will be studying at Kennesaw State University while in the Air Force Reserve as a loadmaster at the 700th AS at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

Although they will be at separate bases, the Armentrouts will serve together in the Air Force Reserve taking the values their fathers passed along to them.