Military Alumni

Military Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your Cortland High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Purple Tigers lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

Honored Military Alumni

Doree Flinn
Doree Flinn Class of 1971
Air Force, 20+ Years
Communications and Logistics Officer
Henry Jackson
Henry Jackson Class of 1966
Marine Corps, 10 Years
10 years USMC 30 USCG Reserve 27 years New Bedford Police Officer
John C. Lundberg
John C. Lundberg Class of 1978
Marine Corps, 20+ Years
Forward Observer, Field Artillery, Naval Gunfire, Close Air Support, Recruiter
Nancy (Wilk) Wilchenski
Nancy (Wilk) Wilchenski Class of 1962
Army, 2 Years
Took Basic Training at Ft McClellan, Ala and AIT at Ft Jackson, SC in 1975. PF3 serving in Frankfurt, Germany and at S.H.A.P.E., Belgium! Traveled to England, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, France and Amsterdam! Met ex-husband SGC Robert J. Wilchenski (now deceased) at S.H.A.P.E., Belgium! Worked at NSSG at S.H.A.P.E!
Sidney Gene Cole
Sidney Gene Cole Class of 1981
Air Force, 20+ Years
Master Sergeant Sidney G. Cole was born October 18, 1962 in Cortland, New York, son of June & Homer Klock. On October 31 1980, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, under the delayed enlistment program (Inactive Reserves). MSgt Cole’s last assignment was working as the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s (AMU) Weapons Section Chief, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. His primaries duties were to lead a 72-Person Weapons Loading and Maintenance Section. The AMU supports 27 Block 40 LANTIRN (Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for night) F-16s valued in excess of $24 Million each. Sergeant Cole attended Cortland Junior-Senior High School, and graduated in June 1981. After graduation from high school, He entered Active Duty on July 14 1981, where he completed Basic Military Training (BMT) at Lackland AFB, Texas. Upon completing BMT, Sergeant Cole was sent to technical training school at Lowry AFB, Colorado, as a Weapons Mechanic. Upon completion of technical training he was assigned to the 416th Munitions Maintenance Squadron, Griffiss AFB, New York, as a Loading Standardization Section lead crew member. In December 1982, Sergeant Cole’s technical abilities were called upon to load the first tactical Air Launched Cruise Missile on the B-52G aircraft. He was hand selected for SAC’s “Giant Sword, 83’” loading competition, in which his team won first place. In July 1983, after 17 months at his first duty base, Sgt Cole received notification orders for reassignment to Incirlik AB, Turkey. After attending F-16 Weapons Maintenance and Troubleshooting Courses at McDill AFB, Florida, Sgt Cole departed for his next assignment to Incirlik AB Turkey. He was assigned to the 39th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron, Weapons Standardization Section, as a Loading Standardization Crew member. Additionally, because of his in-depth studies, he was also appointed as an academics instructor; teaching Weapons Safety and Nuclear Surety to all assigned personnel involving/working with the F-16 aircraft. Once signed into the base, Sergeant Cole was sent TDY to Torrejon AB, Spain for Initial Load Certification on the F-16 aircraft. His main duties were to certify and evaluate load crew members; additionally he shared responsibilities swapping/rotating out Victor Alert Aircraft. Sergeant Cole was reassigned in October 1984 to the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), Camp New Amsterdam, Netherlands as an F-15 maintenance/load crewmember. Sergeant Cole’s stellar performance quickly led to his selection as 1 of only 16 individuals authorized to perform loading functions on NATO owned F-4 and F-16 aircraft. While assigned to the 32nd TFS, he completed the NCO Preparatory Course and obtained “Load Crew of the Quarter” twice within the same year. In October 1986, Sergeant Cole was reassigned the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah. Initially Sergeant Cole was assigned as a weapons load crew member on the F-16, block 30’s. He was soon dual qualified as a maintenance technician as well. In February 1988, Sgt Cole was then transferred to the Weapons Standardization Flight (Weapons Load Barn) to assist in training/monitoring the 388th FW’s 42 assigned load crews to be ready for war! Sgt Cole attended the 4-week NCO Leadership School in Jun 1988. Sgt Cole was selected as the 388th Fighter Wings 1989 Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Outstanding Munitions Maintenance Technician Award Nominee for Tactical Air Command. While deployed to George AFB, California, In February 1990, Sgt Cole was promoted to Staff Sergeant under the “Stripes for Exceptional Performers” program by the Twelfth Air Force Commander. During Operation DESERT STORM, Sergeant Cole’s crew loaded over 119 aircraft with a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, without a single incident, aiding in the success and timely end of the Gulf War. Sergeant Cole was also chosen from over 250 possible candidates for a position on Pacific Air Command’s “SABRE SPIRIT” integrated combat turn-competition, as a weapons load team chief, held at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea in May 1992. His excellence contributed in the 388th taking four out of the five possible trophies in the F-16 category; winning the overall SABRE SPIRIT competition. Sergeant Cole was selected as the 388th Fighter Wing Weapons Safety Person of the Quarter, Jul-Sep 1992; and 4th Fighter Squadron Load Crew of the Month, Sep 1992. In November 1992, he was nominated as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award, sponsored by the National Jaycees. He represented the 388 FW as a team member for the 1993 Worldwide Gunnery Meet (Gunsmoke), resulting in the Wing winning an unprecedented second championship. Additionally, Sergeant Cole was selected as the 4th Fighter Squadron Weapons Person of the Month, June 1993; 4th Fighter Squadron Weapons Person of the Quarter, Apr-Jun 1993 and 4th Fighter Squadron Maintenance Person of the Quarter, Jul-Sep 1993. He represented the 388th FW at the 1’st ever Quality Air Force Symposium, traveling to Maxwell Alabama in 1993 to be presented a “Chief-of-Staff” Quality Medallion from the former Chief of Staff, General Merrill McPeak for his contributions, suggestions and improvements with weapons related issues. From May 1994 - May 1997 Sgt Cole performed the duties of Weapons Expediter, then NCOIC of Weapons Maintenance. During the same time frame, Sergeant Cole was on-call basis working with/for ACC and traveled extensively for Head Quarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Advanced Systems to test and evaluate highly classified Air Force weapons systems. Sergeant Cole was selected as the 4th Fighter Squadron NCO of the Month, Nov-1996; 4th Fighter Squadron, NCO of the Quarter, Oct-Dec 1996. He attended the 6-week NCO Academy Class at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico this same year. In June 1997, Sergeant Cole moved up to work with the 388 LG/OG Quality Assurance Section, primarily as a Weapons Inspector. He was cross utilized/trained and qualified on all F-16 aircraft related inspections; additionally Sgt Cole was assigned as Dedicated Inspector for the 388 Operations Support Squadron. While assigned to Quality Assurance, Sergeant Cole was selected as the 388th Logistics Support Squadron NCO of the Quarter, Jul-Sep 1997; 388th Logistics Support Squadron NCO of the Year, 1997; and 388th Operations Support Squadron NCO of the Quarter, Apr-Jun 1998. In March 2000, Sgt Cole was reassigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron assuming the duties of Weapons Section Superintendent, after approximately two years, he was selected and moved up to perform the duties of 34 FS Production Superintendent. From 8 October 2001-4 December 2001, Sgt Cole deployed with the 388th FW/34 FS ADVON Team to an undisclosed location in the Western United States, in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE. At the sight, Sgt Cole helped set up and run the West Coast Alert Facility protecting the Western United States, under the direction of NORAD. He was selected as an Outstanding Performer for this deployment. He completed the Senior Non Commissioned Officers Academy by Correspondence in Feb 2002. Once again, on 28 August 2002, Sgt Cole was reassigned within the 388th FW, due to the USAF’s massive reorganization and the 388th was selected to help initiate. Sgt Cole volunteered and was selected to fill a SMSgt/E-8 position working as the 388 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS), Assistant First Sergeant, in the largest squadron assigned to Hill AFB, Utah. He worked many long hours and challenging projects assisting the AMXS Commander and First Sergeant in matters of morale, health, discipline, mentoring, career progression, recognition, PME, and administrative management of 838 authorized unit personnel. The extra hours and such paid off when AMXS was selected as 388th Fighter Wing Squadron of the year, two years consecutively. (There are now 7 individuals performing the same function as the three of them initially set up) In August 2003, Sgt Cole was selected for reassignment to Egypt working for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. MSgt Cole was assigned as Primary advisor to the Egyptian Air Force Armament Division on all armament and weapons related issues for three Egyptian Regiments (Wings) in support of the $1.7 Billion Foreign Military Sales Program, Office of Military Cooperation living on the Egyptian Air Force Base (EAF), Abu Suwayr AB Egypt (Peace Vector III). MSgt Cole received specialized training on Middle Eastern Orientation and Dynamics of International Terrorism at the Joint Special Operations University, located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, before departing to Egypt in December 2003. While assigned in Egypt, MSgt Cole traveled extensively to all five EAF bases, working closely with the EAF Weapons Officers in advising/resolving all Weapons and Safety related issues, drinking many cups of Hot Tea with the Egyptians, keeping the Diplomatic ties open between the United States and Egypt. While assigned in Egypt, he was selected as Peace Vector III, Senior NCO of the Quarter for April-June 2004 and July-September 2004. In January 2005, after this short year in Egypt, MSgt Cole was transferred back to the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU), Hill AFB, Utah. MSgt Cole finished his last months working with the 34th AMU Weapons Section. He will officially retire on 31 August 2005, completing 24 years of active duty. Sid’s two main objectives when enlisting in the Air Force was to serve his country proudly and to travel the world & see as many sites as possible. He achieved both of these goals. He has deployed to numerous countries, making everlasting friendships. He also visited many historical sites in his travels. Listed below are only a few of them; Africa, Kenya/Sudan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, The Netherlands (Holland), Norway, Portugal (Azores), Spain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, , (This includes 7 trips deploying to the Middle East), and almost every State in the USA! His decorations and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal, two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Achievement Medal, three oak leaf clusters; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, seven oak leaf clusters; Air Force Organizational Excellence Award; Combat Readiness Medal, two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Good Conduct Medal, seven oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal, one bronze star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, one bronze star; Southwest Asia Service Medal, three bronze stars; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Service Medal; Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon; Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border; Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, five oak leaf clusters; NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, two oak leaf clusters; Air Force Training Ribbon; and both Kuwait Liberation Medals (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & Government of Kuwait). NOTE: MSgt Cole is also the recipient of the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, issued by the former Governor, Mario M. Cuomo for his service in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. In the Summer of 1987 Sergeant Cole met the former Betty S. Corcoran, of Westminster, California. On March 31 1990, they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada. Betty & Sid will reside in Layton, Utah. Stop by anytime!
Stephen Burnham
Stephen Burnham Class of 1967
Army, 20+ Years
Purple Heart
Ted McLyman
Ted McLyman Class of 1969
Marine Corps, 20+ Years
Lt Col (Ret): Artillery and Financial Management Served in various command and staff assignments around the world: Evacuation of Vietnam, Desert Storm, Econ Instructor US Naval Academy, and Aide to Sec of Navy for Fnancial Management.

Classmates Spotlight

Cortland High School Classmates

Betsy Crane
Class of '67

Alumni Stories

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Found class ring

I have found a 1970 class ring for RRS. You can contact me at codiesdog@gmail.com about this.
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