After graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1962, Rip attended pilot training and served in various fighter and staff positions for 27 years. He has 4500 hours of flying time with over 1000 hours of single engine combat time in F-100s, O-1s and F-105s. He flew Right Wing on the USAF Thunderbirds in 1972 - '73 and was the Commandant of the Fighter Weapons School in 1981-'82. Rip was the Academy Deputy Director of Athletics in 1984 - '87 and USAFA Chief of Staff in 1987 - '89. He has an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. After retiring as a Colonel in 1989, he worked for Lockheed Martin as a manager for various F-16 projects. He served as a Director of the AOG in 1986 - '91 and has served as a director for the Rampart Chapter. He also often acts as a Facilitator for Academy Character and Leadership seminars. He is an avid outdoors man; has rafted the Grand Canyon 6 times in his own boat, guides canoe trips around Grand Junction and is the leader of a Teller County hiking Club. Rip and his wife Jean live in northern Teller County. They have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.