Lt. Colonel Todd de Groot

United States Air Force , LETU Class of 1986

I'm currently an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel flying VIP airlift as an instructor/evaluator pilot in the C-32, which is a specially configured Boeing 757. Looking back at a twenty-year military career, I'm convinced that LeTourneau University prepared me well by equipping me with an excellent foundation of aviation skills, but more importantly, by instilling in me the integrity needed for success as an officer and aviator. I've enjoyed flying all over the world, being introduced to many new cultures and getting to work with some top-notch people.

My initial assignment out of pilot training was flying the KC-10 which serves as both a tanker and airlift platform. With a 590,000 lb maximum takeoff weight, this heavy lifter very effectively moved the cargo and fuel needed to supply our front-line fighters. Two tours in our training command gave me the opportunity to teach our newest pilot candidates in both the old T-37 and in the brand new T-6. My final five years have been spent stationed near Washington, D.C., transporting our nation's leaders around the globe. My normal passengers include the Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and the First Lady when she travels by herself.

LeTourneau University’s blend of technical training balanced with character development has proven to be a winning combination throughout my career. I look back with fondness to my time at LeTourneau and continue to gain appreciation for the significant impact it had in my life.