Randy graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1977, and received his pilot wings the next year at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX. His next assignment was to Little Rock AFB as a C-130 pilot. In 1980, he returned to Reese as a T-37 Instructor Pilot, followed by an assignment at USAFA with the Flight Screening Program as a T-41 Instructor.
In 1989, Randy became a United Airline Pilot and Instructor at their Training Center in Denver, CO. He also joined the AF Reserve, again flying C-130's during Desert Shield/Storm. At United, he has flown the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, the DC-10 and Airbus A-319/320. He became the Reserve Advisor to The Rocky Mountain Region Commander, Civil Air Patrol in 1986, and spent his last 7 years in the AF Reserve as a Sailplane Instructor Pilot at the Air Force Academy. Randy is currently an A320 Captain at United, as well as a founding member of the Soaring Eagle Foundation.
Bob Chapman enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1978. After two years of enlisted time he was selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he graduated in 1984. He became a pilot and has flown the C-130 Hercules and the UV-18 Twin Otter while active duty.
In 1992, he became an Air Force Reserve member, once again flying the C-130. In 1995 he was hired by American Trans Air as a B-727 First Officer. Later that year, he went on to become a First Officer for United Airlines. Bob has flown the Boeing B-737, Airbus A-320, and the Boeing B-777 for United Airlines. He also instructed at the UA training center in the B-737 simulators. Bob is currently a B-777 first officer with United, and a founding member of the Soaring Eagle Foundation.
After graduating high school Jenny enlisted in the Air Force and worked in, what was then, Accounting and Finance. Initially, as an Airman, she processed disbursement vouchers but by the time she left the Air Force she updated and reconciled the Air Force Stock Fund reporting systems, accounted for Investment Equipment Funds, certified fund availability for commitments and obligations and certified disbursement vouchers for payment. In addition she supervised several enlisted and civilian personnel.
While in the Air Force Jenny met her husband, Randy Rothe's brother. Then, with the birth of her second child, she opted to leave active duty and raise her children. However, once both the children were school age, Jenny returned to the work force and college. Now both children are active duty Air Force. Jenny is currently the Office Manager for a local painting contractor and was recruited to Soaring Eagle Foundation by Randy because of her bookkeeping and administrative skills. She doesn't fly!
As an engineer and pilot I entered service in the Royal Air Force in 1984 and most of my military career was with a front line Squadron overseas. After an accident in the Royal Air Force that left me paralyzed from the waist down I had to learn to fly again with the aid of hand controls in a glider. This was followed with an Air Force scholarship where I had to retrain flying single engine fixed wing aircraft with modified controls.
At the International Air Tattoo in the UK, during the wings award ceremony, I was approached by HRH King Hussein of Jordan to develop a system that would enable spinal cord injured individuals to fly helicopters. With the help of the British Army Air Corps we developed a system later to be called “Aeroleg”. Trials were conducted on the Gazelle turbine helicopter. In 2000 I was invited to bring the “aeroleg” to the United States for FAA certification. In March 2001 certification was granted making this the only system available worldwide and today is the recognized system for all helicopters.
I spent many years soaring in the UK where, primarily, the method of launch was by winch. I also converted the Grob CS to hand controls for the British gliding Association. In 2010 I was invited to Colorado to help Randy in a small way with his glider winch. A friendship and an idea to enable other wounded or disabled veterans to experience the joy of soaring would lead to uprooting and moving to Colorado Springs. From this moment on plans to launch Soaring Eagle Foundation began.
COL(Ret) Dr. Clifford Porter has graduated from Oregon State University, the University of Washington, and finally the Uniformed Services University of the Heath Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland with his Doctor of Medicine degree. He completed his internship and residency in General Surgery at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco in 1991. He was a staff general surgeon at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany and served as the first commander of an airborne Army Forward Surgical Team in Vicenza, Italy in anticipation of U.S. military intervention in Sarajevo.
In 1994, he transferred to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington. There he served as a staff general surgeon, teaching staff for the general surgery residency, and was selected to create and command the first airborne Forward Surgical Team. He deployed multiple times with that team to contested regions of the world, including Nicaragua, Kosovo, Thailand, and Afghanistan. He commanded the team when it drove the Al Qaeda and Taliban out of southern Afghanistan. He retired in 2002 but was recalled to active duty in 2009 for the troop surge in Afghanistan. He retired a second time in 2012. He continues to create specialized training plans for Special Operations surgical teams for NATO in Belgium as a contractor.
He is board-certified in General Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has interest in obesity surgery, endocrine surgery of the neck, upper intestinal tumors, laparoscopic and general surgery. He is also interested in obtaining a Colorado teaching certificate and possibly a Master's Degree in teaching to educate high school students in the sciences. He is married to Carol Porter and has 5 children and 2 grandchildren. His interests include running, biking, traveling the world, history and gliders.
Mark C. Dickerson retired from the Air Force after a 25-year career as a Fighter Pilot and Test Pilot. He has over 4800 hours of flying time in more than 60 aircraft types. He is a graduate and former Deputy Commandant of the USAF Test Pilot School and is also an Associate Fellow and former Board Member with the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Masters in Business Administration from Regis University. He is also a senior member of AIAA and former member of the AIAA Flight Test Technical Committee.
Dickerson's dedication to helping others succeed is well-proven. He taught computer skills to middle-school students, served as a flight instructor and academic course developer, and later as Director of Academics at the USAF Test Pilot School. Upon leaving the Air Force, Colonel Dickerson continued to train test pilots for several years as a civilian contractor. He later moved to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center where he regularly visited schools, encouraging students to reach for their dreams. He organized and led a glider training camp for over 30 Civil Air Patrol cadets. Dickerson is currently a tow pilot and glider flight instructor, a Disaster Preparedness volunteer with the El Paso County Sheriff's Department, and is on the Adjunct Faculty of Colorado Technical University.
Chris has over 23 years of flying experience. He started flying gliders when he was 13 years old with the Civil Air Patrol at their National Glider Encampment. He flew with CAP for the next three summers, eventually earning his glider instructor rating. After graduating from Denver’s Metropolitan State University in 2002, Chris joined the Air Force Reserve where he became a C-130 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot at Peterson Air Force Base. Major Rothe flew C-130's at Peterson AFB until 2014 when he transferred to the Air Force Academy and became a Soaring Instructor Pilot
In 2013, Chris became a pilot for United Airlines flying the Boeing 757/767 and now flies Airbus A-319/320 based in Denver. Chris is currently an Air Force Reserve Evaluator Pilot as well as an instructor for the Soaring Racing Team at the Air Force Academy.