Twice the Citizen: Astronaut edition

A short while ago, I penned an article called "Twice the Citizen" to commemorate the career of a great Army Reserve officer.  Here is another stellar Army officer: my West Point classmate, Colonel (ret.) Jeff Williams.

Colonel Williams has had a stellar career, most recently culminated in being the longest serving American in space.  According to NASA, he has 534 cumulative days in space, the record for U.S. astronauts.  He has under his belt four space missions (one space shuttle and three space station).  Also from NASA, he was the first U.S. astronaut to perform three long-term missions to the station.  He has performed five spacewalks for a total of 31 hours and 55 minutes spent spacewalking.

Here is a photo of Jeff taken as he returned from his most recent mission as the commander of the International Space Station.  Note the USMA Class of 1980 ball cap.

Colonel Williams's career began with mine, back in July 1976 as we both stood on the parade ground at West Point and swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Since that day, Colonel Williams has served in a variety of assignments.  His professional biography can be found here.  Here are some of the highlights:

As a cadet at USMA, Williams competed on the West Point sport parachute team and also held ratings of sport parachute jumpmaster and instructor. He received his commission as a second lieutenant May 1980 and was designated an Army aviator in September 1981. Williams completed a three-year assignment in Germany where he served in the 3rd Armored Division’s aviation battalion. Following his return to the United States, Williams completed a graduate program in Aeronautical Engineering, and was subsequently selected for an Army assignment at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), where he served in various capacities supporting the Space Shuttle Program. In 1992, Williams attended the Naval Test Pilot School, and subsequently served as an experimental test pilot and the Flight Test Division Chief in the Army’s Airworthiness Qualification Test Directorate at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Williams retired from active duty in 2007 after more than 27 years of service. Williams has logged approximately 3,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft.

Williams was selected for the NASA Astronaut Class of 1996. In addition to his space flights, he has performed various technical duties in both the space shuttle and International Space Station Programs. He has served in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA), Space Station, and Soyuz Branches of the Astronaut Office, led the development of a space shuttle cockpit upgrade, and completed temporary assignments at Marshall Space Flight Center supporting the test and evaluation of the International Space Station Laboratory Module and at NASA Headquarters in support of legislative affairs. In July 2002, Williams commanded a nine-day coral reef expedition operating from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquarius undersea habitat off the coast of Florida. Williams has also served on the space station backup flight crews for Expeditions 12, 19, and 20. So far, Williams has logged more than 362 days in space, including more than 19 hours in three spacewalks.

NASA was also gracious enough to provide links to several photos of Col. (ret.) Williams and his time in space.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/albums/72157665029194945 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/albums/72157661964468354.

Here are some of the experiments he has worked on:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1931.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1007.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1257.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1973.html

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module technology demonstration project.

And 3D printing in space.

As you can see from his bio, pictures and experiments, Colonel (ret.) Jeff Williams, in his service as an Army officer and as a civilian, is, indeed, Twice the Citizen.

Mike Ford is a retired infantry colonel who wishes he were brave enough to ride a controlled explosion of hydrogen and oxygen into orbit.

A short while ago, I penned an article called "Twice the Citizen" to commemorate the career of a great Army Reserve officer.  Here is another stellar Army officer: my West Point classmate, Colonel (ret.) Jeff Williams.

Colonel Williams has had a stellar career, most recently culminated in being the longest serving American in space.  According to NASA, he has 534 cumulative days in space, the record for U.S. astronauts.  He has under his belt four space missions (one space shuttle and three space station).  Also from NASA, he was the first U.S. astronaut to perform three long-term missions to the station.  He has performed five spacewalks for a total of 31 hours and 55 minutes spent spacewalking.

Here is a photo of Jeff taken as he returned from his most recent mission as the commander of the International Space Station.  Note the USMA Class of 1980 ball cap.

Colonel Williams's career began with mine, back in July 1976 as we both stood on the parade ground at West Point and swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Since that day, Colonel Williams has served in a variety of assignments.  His professional biography can be found here.  Here are some of the highlights:

As a cadet at USMA, Williams competed on the West Point sport parachute team and also held ratings of sport parachute jumpmaster and instructor. He received his commission as a second lieutenant May 1980 and was designated an Army aviator in September 1981. Williams completed a three-year assignment in Germany where he served in the 3rd Armored Division’s aviation battalion. Following his return to the United States, Williams completed a graduate program in Aeronautical Engineering, and was subsequently selected for an Army assignment at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), where he served in various capacities supporting the Space Shuttle Program. In 1992, Williams attended the Naval Test Pilot School, and subsequently served as an experimental test pilot and the Flight Test Division Chief in the Army’s Airworthiness Qualification Test Directorate at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Williams retired from active duty in 2007 after more than 27 years of service. Williams has logged approximately 3,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft.

Williams was selected for the NASA Astronaut Class of 1996. In addition to his space flights, he has performed various technical duties in both the space shuttle and International Space Station Programs. He has served in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA), Space Station, and Soyuz Branches of the Astronaut Office, led the development of a space shuttle cockpit upgrade, and completed temporary assignments at Marshall Space Flight Center supporting the test and evaluation of the International Space Station Laboratory Module and at NASA Headquarters in support of legislative affairs. In July 2002, Williams commanded a nine-day coral reef expedition operating from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquarius undersea habitat off the coast of Florida. Williams has also served on the space station backup flight crews for Expeditions 12, 19, and 20. So far, Williams has logged more than 362 days in space, including more than 19 hours in three spacewalks.

NASA was also gracious enough to provide links to several photos of Col. (ret.) Williams and his time in space.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/albums/72157665029194945 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/albums/72157661964468354.

Here are some of the experiments he has worked on:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1931.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1007.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1257.html

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1973.html

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module technology demonstration project.

And 3D printing in space.

As you can see from his bio, pictures and experiments, Colonel (ret.) Jeff Williams, in his service as an Army officer and as a civilian, is, indeed, Twice the Citizen.

Mike Ford is a retired infantry colonel who wishes he were brave enough to ride a controlled explosion of hydrogen and oxygen into orbit.