William "Trapper" Carpenter Class Of 1973


Colonel (Ret) Trapper Carpenter, Class of 1973, spent 48 years in or working for the Air Force. He spent 34 years on active duty, with 22 assignments, including 3 overseas tours, and staff position up through wing level and the Joint Staff.

Over his career, Col Carpenter accumulated 5200 flying hours, with over 3500 hours in the F-15, over six operational assignments and Fighter Weapon School. He commanded both F-15 Air Superiority and Strike Eagle squadrons. From 1997 to 1999, he was Vice Wing Commander for the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, VA.

Col Carpenter’s final active-duty assignments included Vice Commandant of Cadets under General Lorenz, ’73 and Welsh ’76, and Director of Admissions. His remaining 14 years of service were a Associate Athletic Director for Recruiting Support for USAFA’s 27 Division I Intercollegiate Sport’s Teams.

During his time at USAFA, Col Carpenter formally mentored well over 100 Cadets and served as the Executive Agent and then as an advisor to the Academy Board. He also was a member of the USAFA Preparatory School Advisory Committee and the Honor Review Committee. As a class officer, he strongly advocated for and worked toward the Class of 1973 becoming the flagship for NCLS, the Academy’s premier character and leadership program. Their efforts ultimately resulted in the class endowing NCLS for $1.3M.   

Col Carpenter and his wife, Iris, sponsored a large number of cadets and Cadet Outstanding Awards over their many years at the Academy. They now reside in Irvine, CA and are especially proud of their daughter, Yung, USAFA ’11. They enjoy hiking, tennis, gardening and travel.

Col Carpenter earned a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. He also completed graduate courses at Army War College and the Syracuse Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Candidacy Statement

My desire is to serve the AOG as a Board Director. I have recently concluded serving 48 years in the Air Force. Those experience spanned operational and staff assignments up through Wing level and the Join Staff. The last 22 years I was blessed to have had positions at the USAF Academy including Vice Commandant for Generals Lorenz and Welsh, Director of Academy Admissions, as well as leading the Athletic Department’s recruiting efforts.

I have formally mentored well over 100 Cadets on Honor and Aptitude/Conduct probation programs. At the Academy Board level, I have served as the Executive Agent and then as an advisor. As a ’73 Class officer, we strongly advocated for and contributed efforts resulting in ’73 becoming the flagship for NCLS (the Academy’s premier character and leadership program.) NCLS is now fully endowed; guaranteeing its important place for the future.

In my candidacy, I hope that my recent experiences and knowledge of the Academy’s education, training and character development programs will be helpful in serving the Board.

It would an honor to be part of the primary organization that provides such essential and excellent support of the Academy’s mission of building leaders of character that will go onto service and lead our Air Force and Nation while also servicing the Long Blue Line, and friends.

I submit my candidacy in gratitude and appreciation for all that the Academy has done for me and my family; the incredible learning and bonding opportunities over so many years.