Veterans Day is November 11, however, we are honoring veterans all month long here at the Texas Military Department.
Every week in November, we will feature a local veteran who proudly served in the Texas Army, Air, or State Guard to thank them for being Texans serving Texas. This week, we are excited to honor Texas Air National Guard retired Maj. Gen. Kenneth Wisian in our TMD Veteran Spotlight.
Maj.Gen. (Ret.) Kenneth Wisian
- Highest Rank: Major General (O-8)
- Branch: Texas Air National Guard
- Years of Service: 33 years
- Awards/Combat Medals: Bronze Star, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal
Maj.Gen.Wisian’s life in words
Maj. Gen. Wisian has deep roots in Austin. A graduate of Austin High School and the University of Texas at Austin, Gen. Wisian’s military career has taken him places he’ll remember for a lifetime. Wisian joined the Air Force in 1982, and his training began at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. Gen. Wisian trained on B-52 bombers while learning the importance of Air Command Missions. In 1989 Gen. Wisian was selected to attend Test Pilot School. USAF TPS is one of the toughest, most elite schools in the Air Force.
Wisian says when you’re in the school or have the graduate patch, you are authorized to fly any aircraft in the military you can get your hands on. A self-proclaimed “Uniformed nerd,” he left active duty in 1993 to pursue his Doctorate degree in Geophysics from Southern Methodist University and has published dozens of research in geophysics, space exploration and military/ international affairs.
One year later, Dr. Wisian transferred to the Texas Air National Guard. Wisian began flying C-130 s with the Texas Air National Guard. During this time he flew operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Kosovo. He was also deployed to Afghanistan twice. Wisian says after retirement he was able to focus full-time on his role as a Research Scientist.
He is currently the Executive Director of the Disaster Research Program Center for Space Research at UT Austin. The Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in all We Do will always be a part of his life.