After graduating the US Air Force Academy, I was assigned career field 61S3B, Behavioral Scientist.
The first part of my career was doing Industrial / Organizational Psychology. I managed several projects writing promotion tests for non-commissioned officers in various career fields. This consisted of leading small teams of subject matter experts, applying psychometric principles and editing. Later I moved into occupational analysis, writing task surveys and traveling to sites to interview and observe workers, validating the job task inventories.
I had the privilege of attending graduate school full time while on duty, at Virginia Tech. There I got a Master of Science in Applied Experimental Psychology, focusing on cognitive psychology, while taking courses in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department in human factors, HCI, and training design.
After my graduate degree I worked in Research and Acquisition Project Management at the Armstrong Laboratory Human Resources Laboratory. I started in the Instructional Systems Design Research working on technical training tools for subject matter experts — helping them create computer based training where they could rely on their subject matter expertise and not worry about creating the courseware. This was the early days, before ‘Authorware’ and other tools came about.
I also picked up the internet there (Gopher, Archie, WAIS & Mosaic!) writing HTML for the branch and became the Lab’s first webmaster (remember that term?). A major task there was corralling and managing all the division and branches who wanted to do their own thing, and creating some consistent standards. Check out my work thanks to the Wayback Machine…
My last position at the Lab was in the planning division, managing technology transfer and the Lab’s Independent Research & Development program. This involved working with defense contractors and military researchers to share relevant research technologies.
There was a drawdown in military funding — the labs were reduced and the base was closed, I saw my career field fading, so I left the Air Force and put my skills to work in the civilian sector.