Dick is a protégé of the famed Tuskegee Airmen and was mentored, trained, and commissioned under their tutelage. He is a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV and completed two tours in Southeast Asia with 446 combat missions. He also held key roles in advanced research, development, and testing of tactical fighter aircraft. Later he directed the testing and evaluation of other weapon systems for the Department of Defense and allied military programs. Dick held key staff positions and commanded a number of units in several major commands of the Air Force. His duty assignments included bases throughout the United States, Southeast Asia, Europe, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. He is a Command Pilot with 4,000 flying hours in the F-4, F-15, F-16, OT-37, O-2, T-33, and several civilian aircraft. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with 27 Oak Leaf Clusters. Dick retired from the United States Air Force March 1, 1989 after 26 years of distinguished service.