Warrior of the Week: Navy Lt. Kurt Bair

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  • By Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs
Navy Lt. Kurt Bair, 8th Flying Training Squadron C Flight assistant flight commander, was submitted as a Warrior of the Week because of his selection as the squadron's Company Grade Officer of the Quarter.
"He has put in the extra effort in all aspects of his duties here, from leading a flawless joint change of command ceremony, to leading 'Top-Off' academics for all the maritime students returning to Chief of Naval Air Training, to pulling flawless duty as the 71st Operations Group's Supervisor of Flying, not to mention his valuable mentorship and instruction for our young pilots in Cobra Flight," said Capt. Richard Ganske, 8th FTS C Flight commander. "Relying upon his prior military experience as an Air Force enlisted member and his time in the fleet flying the P-3, Kurt's my most mature and valuable instructor in C Flight. He gets the mission done here in superior fashion no matter the circumstance."
Lieutenant Bair entered the Air Force as an enlisted member, but soon wanted to fly as an officer. However, when he applied for Officer Training School, he was denied. He then received permission to separate and train to fly with the Navy.
Vance is Lieutenant Bair's first interaction with the Air Force and his second duty station since he joined the Navy. After attending training at Naval Air Stations Whiting Field, Fla., Corpus Christi, Texas, and Jacksonville, Fla., he arrived at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., to fly P-3s with VP-40. Here he is second in command for Captain Ganske and is in charge of training the flight's instructor pilots and overseeing flight schedules and student continuity.
He is also responsible for safety of the flying program as a SOF, his additional duty.
"Everyone in the flight has an additional duty, either at the Runway Supervisory Unit or as a SOF," the Ephrata, Wash., native said. "I chose SOF because you have to have experience in a major weapons system, and I do."
Along with his work duties, Lieutenant Bair balances spending time with his family and finishing his master's degree. He met his wife Jamilyn in college and together they have endured the last 10 years of his combined military experience. They have four sons, Spencer, 9, Riley, 6, Dylan, 4 and Aidan, 10 months.
"My wife wishes I could spend more time at home," he said. "It's hard when I leave in the morning and my kids are either still asleep or getting ready for school, and on night-fly weeks they're already in bed when I come home. So the weekends are my family focus time."
To achieve his goal of finishing his degree, he created a schedule to allot class and study time.
"I tried doubling up classes one term, but it was too much so I'm averaging one per semester," he said. "I plan to be done by July next year."
The lieutenant said he's still "in a transition phase" as to what to do with his future in the service however.
"I enjoy the T-6, so I may try to do something with that in the Navy when I'm done here, and I'm putting in a package to train as a full Naval reserve duty," he said.