Air Force Celebrates Officers Career without Mentioning Race

In a rare event for an Air Force press release, an article celebrated the long and storied career of Col Patrick “Phantom” Campbell, without once mentioning the color of his skin.

Campbell had an interesting career – rejected by the US Air Force Academy initially, he went to the Prep school and then to USAFA. He washed out of pilot training, but then excelled at Navigator training. He was an F-4 EWO in the early 1980s; after a break in service, he eventually returned and would become the Ops Group Commander and finally the 22nd Air Force Director of Operations at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. He now retires and plans to continue to live a full life, as well as spend more time with Kimberly, his wife of 38 years.

In an era in which status and physical traits seem to take precedence – like being the first of a certain gender to command a school, or the first of a specific skin color to be USAFA Superintendent – it’s refreshing to see a person celebrated for his merits and accomplishments.

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