Educator learned valuable lessons in military

Published 6:46 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chris Quattlebaum served 23 years in the United States Army, beginning as a February 1969 draftee, before beginning his career in education in 1995. As a teacher, he taught eighth grade physical science and taught at both Kings Fork Middle School and John Yates Middle School. Today he is assistant principal at Kings Fork High School.

Q: How did your military career begin?

A: Well, I was drafted in February 1969 by then President Richard Nixon and began in military intelligence as an image interpreter.

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Q: While in the Army, what jobs did you hold?

A: In 1973 I was accepted into flight school and in 1974 completed flight school and began flying helicopters. I served as a pilot on a number of different helicopters including the Cobra. I also served as a flight instructor.

Q: What skills did you learn in the military that you have brought with you to education?

A: My time an instructor taught me a lot in how to teach others how to complete tasks and a lot of patience.

Q: What was the feeling you had in being drafted?

A: There was a lot of emotion in it because at that time, Vietnam was at its height. After graduating flight school, I had orders to go to Vietnam, but in 1974, the war was winding down and did not have to go.

Q: What was your final flight and in what type of helicopter?

A: My final flight must have been in May 1992 in the Cobra. We were in Europe and moving the Cobra’s back to Ramstein Air Base to be shipped back to the states. That was about the time the Army was transition to the Apache helicopters.

Q: What was the final rank you held upon retirement?

A: Chief Warrant Officer W-4.

To nominate someone for our weekly military question and answer feature, email editor Tim Reeves at