BS in Landscape Architecture
Current City: Columbus, Mississippi
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Initiated in 2006
Background career: Barrett joined the Air Force in 2012 by enlisting, which is rare for someone with a bachelor’s degree. After 3 years of being enlisted he applied to become an officer and graduated from training school on March 11th 2016. He is in Columbus at the base waiting for pilot training, which can take 3 to 8 months before starting training.
Jessica Hines: What made you change to being in the Air Force?
Barrett Schroeder: I graduated in 2010 when the economy was still low and most available jobs were internships or were unpaid. I started doing CAD work for Caterpillar which was a boring office job. I did not love the major enough to not be making money for an unknown period of time. I moved to Peoria, Illinois and saw a cargo plane fly overhead and it inspired me to join the air force and become a pilot.
JH: What do you love about the air force?
BS: I like knowing that I have a career that is contributing something to the country I live in. I was in Boy Scouts growing up and that instilled my patriotism, making going into the military a good fit.
JH: What is your favorite plane you’d want to fly?
BS: I haven’t chosen one specific plane but I am leaning toward a C-17 Cargo plane.
JH: Did you have a mentor in school?
BS: Jamie Manthey, a fellow brother, was my mentor who warned me about classes such as the plant identifying class. We went on a field trip to a Louisville, Kentucky cemetery known for its horticulture.
JH: Do you have any advice for someone deciding between going into college before the Military?
BS: There are three options: 1. Air Force Academy, 2. College ROTC, and 3. Officer training school. In my personal opinion I suggest going to college and participating in the college military program. That way you can get the degree that you want and always attend officer school after you graduate.
JH: Do you have any advice for brothers out there?
BS: Find yourself. Just because you are in a major you don’t have to stick with it. Do what you love doing. No point in wasting time doing something that you don’t like doing. I would be happy to talk to anyone who would want to become an officer in the Air Force. Military is a launch pad for jobs. It is also important to join a professional fraternity or sorority. It makes the school you attend a lot smaller and that is what I liked about APX as a freshman. I met friends, making the jump from high school to college a lot easier.
JH: Do you still keep in contact with any brothers?
BS: Not really. Most of the people in my class were architecture majors and as time went on they spent a lot of time with each other in their studio and I spent time with my landscape classmates more than with APX brothers. After sophomore year I became distant with APX.
JH: What is your favorite memory of APX?
BS: My favorite time was a Halloween party called Tails and everyone would trick or treat around the house. Another favorite memory is the Homecoming football game in which the actives and alumni would play touch football.
JH: Do you have any fun facts or anecdotes you care to share?
BS: I have a private pilot’s license.
JH: Where do you want to go from here?
BS: Graduate school in something aviation related.