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Honoring Our Heroes

Col Dennis M. Drew: Age 81

Col Dennis M. Drew served 28 years in the United States Air Force. His Military background included: (1) Dean, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, (2) Director, Air Power Research Institute, (3) Chief, Strategy and Doctrine, Air Command Staff College, (4) Staff Division Chief, HQ Strategic Air Command, (5) Missile Operations Staff Officer and (6) Personnel Staff Officer. He received the following decorations medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Forces Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Device and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Col Drew was born May 27, 1942 to his parents, Harry and Ione Drew, at Seattle, WA. He was reared at Bend, Oregon, and he graduated from Bend Senior High School. He graduated from Willamette University with a B.A. Degree in History and having participated in the R.OT.C. while at college, he entered active military service and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1964.

Col Drew's military service began at Mr. Home Air Force Base (AFB) ID for two years as Personnel Officer. Volunteering for deployment to Vietnam, he served for two years at Tuy Hoa Air Base at South Vietnam with a fighter wing and at Nakhon Phanom Air Base at Thailand with an Air Command wing where he served as a Personnel Officer. Following deployment, Col Drew served as a launch crew commander in charge of 10 nuclear tipped ICBMs at the Francis E. Warren AFB, WY, for 6.5 years. Then he served at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Offutt AFB, NE. His military career changed with his assignment to attend the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell A.F.B., AL , for 10 months followed by his service first as an instructor for three years and then for the remaining 14 years of his military service there as Chief of Strategy and Doctrine, Chief, Warfare Studies, Deputy Director for Research at the Air Power Research, Director for Research Air Power Institute and Dean of the School of Advanced Air Power Studies.

During his military service, Col Drew earned a Master of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of Wyoming in 1972 and a Master of Science in Military History from the University of AL in 1985. While at Maxwell AFB, he led the establishment of the Air Power Research Institute which became the "think tank" for the Air Force. He authored, coauthored and edited six books, and several book chapters and monographs and authored numerous articles in professional journals concerning airpower strategy and doctrine, and he traveled all over the world to teach and to speak for allied air forces. His efforts also led in the establishment of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Col Drew retired from military service in 1992. For 16 years, he remained working as a civilian as the Vice Commandant at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies retiring in 2008.

Drew and his wife, Sue, have been married 61 years, and they have two children and four grandchildren. They have enjoyed traveling on cruises, and they are members of the Dalraida Methodist Church of Montgomery, AL. Col Drew is a member of the Military Officers and Airmen Association.

Col Drew reflected on his military career, the time spent at the Air Command and Staff University and his writings stating: "I had the good fortune to be selected to attend ACSC at Air University. Those 10 months there totally changed the direction and focus of my Air Force career. I learned a great deal at the staff college including how important professional education should be to the Air Force. The years at the Air University allowed me to think, write and publish."


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