How the US Air Force tricked CSAF McPeak into staying in the military

Tim Kirkpatrick
Updated onOct 22, 2020
1 minute read
Air Force photo



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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, we once again speak to General Merrill A. McPeak, who served as former Air Force Chief of Staff, National Security Council, a military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, and to the President.

The salty and well-respected Air Force Chief of Staff General Merrill A. McPeak (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)

The General currently has three books out, Below The Zone, Roles and Missions, and Hangar Flying, about his time being ringside during one of the most tumultuous moments in recent history: the Vietnam War, where Gen. McPeak was an attack pilot and high-speed forward air controller.

During his impressive career as a fighter pilot, the general logged in more than 6,000 hours of flight time, including a period where he was a solo pilot with the elite Thunderbirds.

Related: How to stay fit and not get fat after you get out of the military

In this episode, we talk on a wide range of topics, including:

  • [2:40] The general describes the many occupations he's held during his remarkable career and the influential politician with whom he didn't get along.
  • [5:20] How the Air Force tricked the clever general, who had no intention making the military a career.
  • [10:50] One significant piece of the general's uniform he didn't want to wear.
  • [13:40] The general explains what he would have done with his life if he hadn't joined the Air Force.
  • [19:20] What a billion dollars gets you when setting up intelligence offices.
  • [20:50] The general's advice for anyone who is interested in becoming Chief of Staff
  • [29:40] What Americans should do if they want to become warriors.
  • [37:35] The general's easiest subject in college that wasn't ROTC.
  • [42:07] The general's personal take on movie pilots.

Also Read: These are the best military movies by service branch

Hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

Orvelin Valle (aka O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer