Today's Military:

Darryl Foster
Air Traffic Controller

Service: Navy     |     Status: Enlisted

“As a child, I looked up to a few cousins during their high school years when they were active in Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).”

Paying close attention to the way his cousins carried themselves, along with how they always kept their uniforms pressed with the brass perfectly shined, Darryl Foster made a vow to himself that he would follow in their footsteps and join Army JROTC when he reached high school.

In 1997, Darryl entered high school and, concurrently, Army JROTC, thus fulfilling the vow he made to himself.

In Army JROTC (which prepares students in high school for future leadership), Darryl excelled. During his senior year, he was chosen as a battalion commander and charged with overseeing close to 200 cadets: inspecting military uniforms, teaching course material and planning various Army JROTC events.

“Being part of Army JROTC and learning how to be an effective leader and motivator… that led to my inspiration to join the Military and further myself as a professional.”

In 2000, Darryl leveraged everything he learned in Army JROTC and joined the Navy in a full-time capacity.

Since joining, Darryl has taken advantage of the many benefits and training opportunities. For starters, the Military is helping Darryl achieve his educational goals. With tuition assistance, Daniel has taken many courses – online and in a classroom – and is on his way to receiving a degree in business and management.

In addition to the college courses Darryl has taken, he has also received extensive training from the Navy. Training in areas such as operational procedures for air traffic control, communication procedures and air traffic control management have thoroughly prepared him for his current job as an air traffic controller.

“As an air traffic controller, it will pay off very well when it comes time to re-enter the civilian world.”

Darryl’s responsibilities as an air traffic controller are vast. On any given day, Darryl could be inspecting control center operations, ensuring safe flights, preparing assignments for those under his supervision or investigating and solving issues in the control center operations.

All of these responsibilities are serving Darryl well. When the time comes for him to separate from the Navy, his skills will be in high demand from commercial airports.

“My role as an enlisted member of the Navy has taught me that all things are possible.”

With exposure to the Military practically all of his life, Darryl knows inherently that hard work and effort make all the difference when it comes to success.

And for Darryl, success has been every bit a part of his young military career. He’s experienced success in the Army JROTC (selected as battalion commander); he’s experienced success in the Navy (received two meritorious advancements, along with various praiseworthy awards and medals); and, if Darryl stays on the path he’s on, he no doubt will experience success in his future endeavors.

Darryl’s Military Career Timeline

  • November 2000: Enlisted at New Orleans, La., Military Entrance Processing Station
  • July 2001: Reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.
  • September 2001: Air Traffic Control Training (Basic Course) at Naval Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla.
  • March 2002: Stationed at Naval Air Station Warfare Center China Lake in California
  • April 2002: Received National Defense Medal
  • May 2002: Served as flight planning dispatcher and flight planning dispatcher on-the-job training (OJT) instructor
  • September 2002: Advanced to petty officer third class
  • October 2002: Served as flight tower visibility observer, tower ground control, clearance delivery, flight data controller and flight data OJT instructor
  • April 2003: Attended Air Traffic Control Symposium in Norfolk, Va.
  • March 2004: Advanced to petty officer second class
  • March 2004: Served as flight tower local controller and flight tower local control OJT instructor
  • June 2004: Served as flight tower facility watch supervisor (received Good Conduct Medal 1st Award)
  • October 2004: Served as naval air weapons station (NAWS) leading petty officer of the Honor Guard (received Navy Achievement Medal 1st Award)
  • December 2004: Served as China Lake tower flight planning branch chief
  • July 2005: Re-enlisted in Navy (six-year obligation), relocated to Pensacola, Fla. (in March 2006), to serve as air traffic control instructor

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