2006 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll
F.L. Schlagle, 1979
Serving his country in the U.S. Air Force is a privilege to Colonel Randy Roberts.
He is the Commander of the 3rd Operation Group at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. His flying tours include operational assignments in Tactical Air Command, Air Combat Command and the U.S. Air Forces Europe. He previously served as Chief of Security Assistance Operational Requirements in the Office of Defense Cooperation, Ankara, Turkey. He has almost 500 hours of combat flying time serving in Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Flying was something Roberts always aspired to do. His original intention was to be an airline pilot. In high school, he said it became clear that entering the Air Force as an officer would be the best way to get the training he needed, so he applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy. He received his appointment from Senator Bob Dole. In 1983, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. He fell in love with fighter jets and the travel lifestyle and hasn’t looked back since. That was 23 years ago.
Roberts has received a number of awards for his military service including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Aerial Achievement Medal. In 2005, he graduated from the National War College, Ft. Lesley J. McNair, D.C., with a master’s degree in national security strategy.
He is a strong advocate of education and looks back fondly on his days growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. He is thankful for the teachers and administrators who were passionate about their work. He looked forward to learning in their classes each day.
Roberts believes that today’s students can do anything they want in this world, as long as they set their minds to it. This is the advice his parents gave him growing up. It gave him reasons to believe in himself. His Dad always told him, “Can’t never did anything.” Roberts knows today that Dad was right.