by Dale M.
I began as a student summer employee for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Denver as a design draftsman in facilities engineering. Upon graduation from the University of Colorado Boulder in June 1958, I began a 38-year career with Lockheed Martin in aerodynamics. Early on, I had to learn how to listen to, understand and respond to ‘Baltimorese’, having been born and raised in Colorado.
Over the years, I had fascinating and challenging assignments in engineering, test, leadership, program management and sales. I worked on many programs and technologies. They ranged from ICBMs, strategic war game analysis and ballistic missile defense to satellites, the Space Sextant autonomous satellite navigation system, radio and laser communications systems and others behind the doors. We worked long and hard days, for weeks and months. Winning, performing and delivering provided both satisfaction and pride, not only for the company and team but also for me personally.
One of the greatest rewards I received was to be able to know, work with and be thrilled by the brilliance, leadership and commitment to excellence of my peers and leaders.
At times I compared my career with that of a dentist, who might have enjoyed going to the bank with his money. But, I enjoyed my many hours working on challenges that were much more fun that looking into someone’s mouth and doing the same thing day in and day out.