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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 10, 2020

Lt Col (ret.) Wendy Emminger is an Arizona native who is a 2003 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She was a 4-year member of the USAFA Women’s Soccer team, team captain, MVP and 4-time member of the Mountain West Conference All-Academic team. She was even on the ballot for Academic All-American. She had the opportunity to continue her soccer career after the Academy by being a 6-time member of the All Armed Forces Women’s soccer team and even got to fly her team to the Military World Games in Brazil.

Wendy attended Pilot training in Columbus, MS and received her first choice to fly the KC-10 at Travis AFB, CA. She attained the highest academic average in her class, missing only 2 out of 517 questions, earning her the Academic Achievement Award. She was also awarded the prestigious Air Force Association Award.

During her time in the KC-10 she was an Instructor, Evaluator, Formal Training Unit (FTU) Instructor and Functional Check Flight (FCF) Pilot. She was Distinguished Graduate of both her Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot upgrade as well as Squadron Officer School.  She was named Group and Squadron Instructor Pilot of the year, Squadron Aircrew of the Year and commanded the Operation’s Group Team of the Year. She deployed 7 times in support of Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom flying over 170 combat missions and was named as the Expeditionary Operations Group Team of the Month three times.

She was then selected for a special assignment to E-3A NATO AWACS Component in Geilenkirchen, Germany where she served as the Executive Officer to the Component Commander, a 2-star General, and led a multinational staff responsible for administration of an International Headquarter of 1900+ military and civilian personnel from 16 nations. It was in Geilenkirchen that she was selected as Field Grade Officer of the year and also found out about her selection to attend the German Joint Staff College in Hamburg, Germany as well as her early promotion to Lt Col (2 BPZ), putting her among the top 1% of her peers. 

After attending a year of language training in Monterey, CA, Wendy moved to Hamburg to represent the US Air Force to 89 elite officers from 15 NATO/EU states. During her first year at the Academy she found out she was selected for Command of the KC-46 Formal Training Unit in Altus, OK. Unfortunately, she was never able to take command because she was blindsided by a case of severe depression that ultimately led to her being medically retired from the military.

Wendy is currently studying to become a Parayoga Instructor and will be attending the prestigious Thunderbird University in Arizona to attain an Executive Master in Global Management this summer with the hopes of opening the Emminger Leadership and Wellness Institute in the future. Her goal is host corporate retreats and fuse the lessons of leadership and resiliency she’s learned through 30 years of participating in team sports, operating as a military aviator as well as suffering through a severe mental illness with the principles of Yoga to improve corporate culture, create sustainable, diverse teams and build more empathetic and resilient leaders.

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