Stephen McIntyre traveled the world as a Certified Flight Mechanic before becoming a Chief Inspector at Pacific Aerospace Resources and Technology in 2013. Today, he uses his extensive background to teach students at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.
As a kid, my family moved around a lot because of my father’s military career. I was born in Germany, but shortly after my dad transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. My birth certificate says, “Reynolds Army Field Hospital, Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” which is where Dad finished his military career. Our family eventually settled in Southern California, which I now consider home. However, Oklahoma holds a special place in my heart since I ended my military career at the same post as my dad — Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
I joined the United States Army, where I proudly served our country and traveled the world just like my dad. After being injured in the line of duty, I was stationed at Fort Sill through the Wounded Warriors program. I served as a Supply Sergeant for the 95th Adjutant General Reception Battalion and Interim Instructor for the radar repair school until 2007, when I medically separated from the Army and began researching my options for life after the Army.
The military offers a Transition Assistance Program to help veterans like me transition from military to civilian life. Through that program, I learned about Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. Five months after leaving my post at Fort Sill, I signed up for Spartan’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program. In only two years, I graduated with an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology and accepted a position with Omni Air International in Oklahoma. Omni was impressed with my radar and communications training, which came from my military time, combined with my Spartan training. During my time with Omni, I resumed my world travels as a Flight Mechanic.
After two years on the job, I worked my way up to Maintenance Manager and became a Boeing certified Lead Instructor. After three years with Omni, I moved to California, where I took a job as Chief Inspector at Pacific Aerospace Resources and Technology (PART). I worked at PART until 2016, when the company was bought and I moved to a small company at the San Bernardino Airport.
I worked for a year at the San Bernardino Airport before returning to Spartan College in 2018 as an Instructor at the Riverside, California Campus, a branch of the Inglewood, CA campus. I taught Spartan Riverside’s very first graduating class and am currently the longest-running instructor on campus. I have always loved to teach and as of March 2021, I am now the Program Chair for the Airframe & Powerplant program in Riverside. Even growing up, I took gymnastics and would coach the younger kids in my club. I love helping others learn new trades and am passionate about seeing people succeed. In addition to teaching, I am currently finishing my bachelor’s degree in Technology Management at Spartan College’s Tulsa, OK campus and aspire to get my master’s degree one day.
After reflecting on my time in the military and my career thereafter, I can say the most important thing I have carried with me throughout my education and employment is discipline. The Army instilled in me the importance of discipline and taught me to complete tasks efficiently and accurately the first time. Being on time and completing tasks well are essential traits in any field and have helped me tremendously in my life.
I am so glad that when I transitioned from military to civilian life that I used my GI Bill and other military-funded education benefits to further my education. The military gave me irreplaceable training I will use for the rest of my life. That training combined with additional education and/or certifications, in my opinion, truly makes me marketable to protentional employers.