Dr. Lucas began his military service as a 19 year old Marine Corps Recruit at Parris Island in April 1987 - one hell of an April fool's joke. Lean, mean and green, PVT (Private) Lucas was selected to be trained as a Marine Aerial Navigator. Accruing nearly 3000 hours on a KC-130, PVT Lucas lived out of a sea bag for 3 years, moving from NAS Millington, Tennessee, to NAS Pensacola, Florida, to Mather AFB, California, to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and to MCAS Futemna, Okinawa. He finally settled in NAS Glenview, Illinois.
During this time, he navigated air drops of paratroopers and trash, air refueling of jets and helicopters (at high and low altitudes), SAR (search and rescue) missions, long range transports, and dirt air strip insertions (from the desserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Central and South America). He navigated before the days of GPS, using the stars, moon, and sun, pressure and temperature changes, loran, radar, dead reckoning, and sometimes just a gut feeling. In addition to flying, now Sergeant Lucas worked as a Navigation Instructor before receiving an honorable discharge in April 1992, exactly 5 years from his start.
Dr. Lucas used the GI bill to attain a degree in chemical engineering before deciding to move on to medical school. There, he accepted a commission in the US Navy as a medical officer. LT (Lieutenant) Lucas began his 7 year Navy career as a Family Medicine Resident at Naval Hospital Bremerton (Washington). In his final year, he was selected to be Chief Resident. Upon graduation, he transferred to Naval Hospital Naples, Italy where he spent four years working where he was needed. He saw patients in the Family Medicine Clinic, delivered babies including performing C-Sections, and worked in the Emergency Department. During this time, he was promoted to LCDR (Lieutenant Commander). In 2009, he received an honorable discharge from the US Navy.
Not ready to call it quits after 13 years of active duty in two different military branches, Dr. Lucas accepted a commission as a Major in the US Air Force Reserve. He travels to Beale, AFB in California every month, performing the duties of a Flight Surgeon. He has greatly enjoyed his two week annual trainings where he received intensive flight training, allowing him the opportunity to perform aerial acrobatics (such as barrel rolls and hammerheads) in the bi-plane pictured above.
MAJ Lucas plans to retire from the US Air Force Reserve (and all military service) in March 2018.