Robert Kay Class Of 1978
Lt Col (Ret) Bob Kay is a proud member of the GREAT class of 1978 with 25 years of active AF service. He flew a variety of fighters to include multiple F-4 versions, QF-106, F-117 and AT-38B jets. He was a two-time squadron commander to include a USAFA Air Officer Commanding and two-time flying detachment commander. Upon retirement, Bob became the QF-4 Program Manager/Production Test Pilot/Flight Ops manager for BAE Systems. He is currently Chief Pilot, instructor/evaluator pilot and TBM-910 CFI on the Northrop Grumman Triton Production Program in Palmdale CA. In a volunteer capacity, he has been a USAFA Admissions Liaison Officer in Los Angeles for 12 years and was the Liaison Officer Director leading all ALO efforts for Los Angeles and four surrounding counties for 3 years. Bob served on the AOG Board of Directors from 1993-1995, is a Charter Sabre Society donor and Lifetime AOG Member. He has been the Checkpoints 1978 Class Scribe for more than 20 years. Bob and his beautiful wife of nearly 35 years, Ellie have seven children and 11 grandchildren. Three of their sons continue the family tradition of military service: Robert Jr. USNA 2011 (USMC infantry officer with 2 combat deployments), Jonathan USAFA 2015 (F-15E Formal Course Instructor Pilot and also a combat vet) and Joshua USMA 2017 (Infantry company commander with one major deployment).
The Air Force Academy has been the most significant institution in my life from day one of BCT until now. Since I was 7 years old, my goal was to be an F-4 fighter pilot and USAFA was the best way to get there. Having been raised in difficult personal circumstances, USAFA became a literal beacon of hope and purpose. My desire to be a fighter pilot propelled me onward, staying focused while rejecting anything that would deter me from my goal. During my second class year however, my personal goal that continues today, transformed to serving this incredible nation and our great Air Force while leading those entrusted under my care.
The AOG is the defining institution for graduates especially as the community continues to grow. Having served on the BOD nearly 30 years ago, I have a realistic awareness of what it takes to serve our institution in this position. The Air Force is evolving…so will USAFA and the graduate community. The AOG has made tremendous advances in the care of grads especially with the Membership for All decision. The recent graduate survey however, shows there is more to do; it is my heartfelt desire to contribute to that effort while discovering even better ways to serve our diverse and growing graduate community.