Salute To Veterans Brig Gen Robin Olds

Few American airmen have had the kind of dazzling talent and charisma possessed by Robin Olds. His persona loomed equally large whether from the cockpit, the lectern, or in face-to-face encounters. Olds was big, tough, smart, and swaggering, not to mention brave and highly skilled. Even Hollywood would have had a hard time portraying the genuine article on the big screen. He was a truly dynamic force, one who had a positive impact on the Air Force for more than 60 years. “His influence upon who we are as an Air Force today can hardly be overstated,” Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, remarked on the death of the retired brigadier general last June. Olds was “a staunch advocate for better fighters, better pilot training,” and the innovative tactics that the Air Force still uses today, Moseley said. Olds’ effect on USAF varied both in content and in timing. His career can easily be divided into two eras. In general terms, the first era, which ran from West Point to his retirement, was a period in which his effect was chiefly localized. He was achieving notable combat successes, influencing his peers and subordinates, and often antagonizing his superiors. In the second, postretirement era his effect spread, and Olds became almost universally embraced, even by those who previously had taken exception to his views. Olds had great stories to tell, and he polished them over the years, weaving them into his presentations with the wit and the timing of a professional actor. He didn’t mind exaggerating the humorous aspects in some of his stories, but he never exaggerated what he accomplished.


Robin Olds Fighter Pilot with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus www.robinoldsfighterpilot.com