WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Retired Chief Master Sgt. Roger Sloan describes his military career well, including his time as a senior advisor to the 2750th Air Base Wing (now 88 ABW) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Sloan, who was the featured guest on the September 14 speaker series at the Miami Valley Military History Museum in Fairborn, provided a down-to-earth, at times humorous and intriguing perspective during his presentation, Life as a Commando Chief.
Born in Danville, Sloan joined the Air Force in 1960 and has traveled the world on various assignments.
Sloan’s final assignment was as Command Chief with 2750 ABW, which he held from 1987-1989. He retired on August 31, 1989. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Wright State University and an associate degree in digital engineering from Air Force Community College.
While at Wright-Patt, Sloan was part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hope Hotel, which would later be home in 1995 to the Balkan Proximity Peace Talks, better known as the Dayton Peace Accords.
Other milestones during his time at Wright-Patt: State Route 444A was opened to the public; and construction of the $123.2 million expansion and renovation of the Wright-Patterson Medical Center was completed, making it the second-largest hospital in the Air Force.
The 2750th became the host wing of Wright-Patterson AFB in October 1949 and exercised command of the base. It frequently supported regional humanitarian missions, including the Xenia tornado relief effort in April 1974. In 1994 the unit was redesignated the 88th Air Base Wing.
However, Sloan’s career path stretched well beyond Ohio. Plattsburgh AFB, New York; Sheppard AFB, Texas; Cannon AFB, New Mexico; Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand; Incirlik Air Force Base, Turkey; and Andrews AFB, Maryland, were just a few of his assignments during a remarkably storied career.
Sloan’s awards and distinctions include the Meritorious Service Medal with two clusters of oak leaves, the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm ribbon.
In 1965, Sloan served as a sniper in Thailand during the Vietnam War as part of Operation Phoenix. The CIA-sponsored program was declassified a few years ago.
But that time still haunts Sloan. “I used to scream at night sometimes; My wife Kay will tell you that,” he said. “I still do.”
After his slide show, he answered questions from the audience. One man asked, “What was your favorite moment in the Air Force?”
“I married that young lady right there in 1961,” Sloan replied, pointing at Kay, who was sitting in the audience.
The couple lives in Riverside, and Sloan attributed his success to her unwavering support as a wife and mother to their son.
“Kay says she served two years,” he added during a period in Turkey when he was constantly on the move.
After Sloan spoke, Cathy Beers-Conrad, the museum’s public relations officer, presented him with a certificate of appreciation. The staff also presented him with a 1956 United States Air Force dictionary as a token of appreciation.
Other military members who will participate in the speaker series, which begins at 6:00 p.m. at the museum, include:
- 12 Oct: Master Sergeant retired. Gary Siembab, Air Force Civil Engineering. His theme is “My Journey”.
- November 9: Retired Col. Cassie Barlow, former 88 ABW commander with Wright-Patt from 2012-2014. “Saluting our Grandmothers: Women of WWII” is her theme.
- December 14: Col. Kim Bowen, currently serving as the 88th ABW Chaplain, will speak on “Christmas in the Military Environment.”
- January 11: Master Sergeant retired. Mark Conrad, who worked as an Engineering Controls/Combat Communications Specialist. “Why a military history museum?” is his theme. (Conrad is curator at the museum).
The Miami Valley Military History Museum is located at 4 E. Main Street in Fairborn. It is open Tuesday to Saturday (excluding public holidays) from 9am to 5pm
For more information about the nonprofit museum, contact Beers-Conrad at 937-318-8820.