Face of Defense: Airman Enters Space Camp Hall of Fame

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Aug. 29, 2011 — An Air Force offi­cer recent­ly became the first U.S. Air Force space and mis­sile oper­a­tor induct­ed into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.

Air Force Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III
Air Force Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III recent­ly was induct­ed into the Space Camp Hall of Fame.
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Lt. Col. William Burke Hare III, the chief of oper­a­tions for the Flight Test Exe­cu­tion Direc­torate at the Mis­sile Defense Agency at Red­stone Arse­nal, Ala., was select­ed as one of three inductees out of 60 nom­i­nees for the 2011 Space Camp Hall of Fame. Hare said the hon­or came as a sur­prise.

“I am tru­ly hum­bled that my career accom­plish­ments met the stan­dards of the [Space Camp] Hall of Fame,” he said. “I real­ly was shocked I was select­ed.”

Accord­ing to the Space Camp web­site, the Space Camp Hall of Fame was estab­lished to hon­or out­stand­ing mem­bers of the Space Camp fam­i­ly, includ­ing grad­u­ates and for­mer employ­ees who have dis­tin­guished them­selves in their respec­tive careers or friends who have made con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tions of per­son­al time, effort or resources to fur­ther the goals of the Space Camp pro­grams.

Hare, orig­i­nal­ly from Atlanta, grad­u­at­ed from Auburn Uni­ver­si­ty in 1992 where he received his com­mis­sion from ROTC Detach­ment 005. Hav­ing stud­ied polit­i­cal sci­ence there, he earned his master’s degree in space stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Dako­ta.

How­ev­er, Hare said his inter­est in the space pro­gram start­ed much ear­li­er.

“Since I was very young, 5 or 6 years old, I thought the idea of going into space as an astro­naut would be the great­est adven­ture any­one could have,” he said. “I want­ed to try it out first­hand and see if space was a line of work for me. My Space Camp and Avi­a­tion Chal­lenge expe­ri­ences set the stage in guid­ing me toward Air Force space and mis­siles as the career for me.”

Hare attend­ed Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., in 1984 and 1986 as a camper, and also worked there from 1992 to 1993 in the Avi­a­tion Chal­lenge pro­gram as a Space Camp coun­selor.

“My Space Camp and Avi­a­tion Chal­lenge expe­ri­ences rein­forced my desire and dri­ve for a career in the Air Force and in Air Force space mis­sions,” he said. “I have great mem­o­ries from my time as a par­tic­i­pant and coun­selor in the pro­grams. They pro­vid­ed inspi­ra­tion for what the future might hold. Those pro­grams still do to this very day.”

As much as Hare was shocked at his selec­tion, it came as no sur­prise to his pre­vi­ous lead­ers.

“Lieu­tenant Colonel Hare has always been an air­man that gave 100 per­cent to the mil­i­tary space mis­sion and 100 per­cent to the civil­ian side in edu­cat­ing all com­ers on space as a whole,” said Air Force Col. William Bur­ton, Hare’s for­mer super­vi­sor at Air Force Space Com­mand and the chief of staff of 24th Air Force.

“Burke spear­head­ed the rela­tion­ship that AFSPC devel­oped with Space Camp and many civil­ians and mil­i­tary mem­bers alike pros­pered,” Bur­ton said. “This hon­or is well deserved and should solid­i­fy future mil­i­tary-civil­ian edu­ca­tion efforts in the future.”

Hare gave words of encour­age­ment to young space enthu­si­asts who are look­ing to work in space as a career.

“There is a way,” he said. “If you real­ly want to be in the space busi­ness, you can get there. You may have to take alter­na­tive routes along the way, but if you stay true to your main goals, you will get there. Have faith and nev­er, ever give up.”

The Hall of Fame was insti­tut­ed sev­en years ago. Its inductees include Dr. Wern­er von Braun, who is con­sid­ered the father of manned space flight, as well as Dr. Georg von Tiesen­hausen and Oscar Holder­er, two of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the von Braun rock­et team.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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