In 1985, “Back to the Future” turned out to be the highest-grossing movie of the year and game systems like Nintendo were incredibly popular.
That same year, at the age of 30, Fred Pieper joined the Army out of patriotism, at a time when patriotism wasn’t so popular. Pieper now serves as the deputy executive director of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center.
In January of 1985, Pieper enlisted as a 67N, UH-1 Iroquois repairer but, less than a month later, the Army tore up his 67N contract and offered him the 09W enlistment option: aviation warrant officer. Pieper accepted the new contract and after basic training started the Warrant Officer Candidate School in August 1985. It was the launch of his distinguished military career that led into a notable civilian career with AMCOM.
During his military career, Pieper flew AH-64A and AH-64D models of the Apache helicopter as a maintenance test pilot. It was his “troop time,” that was the most rewarding experience during his Army career.
“I am honored to have trained, influenced, motivated and led Soldiers in service to our country,” he said. One of those Soldiers was then-Maj. Todd Royar, who was serving as the S-3/operations officer for the 101st Airborne Division’s Aviation Brigade. At the time, Pieper was the production control officer for the brigade’s 1st Battalion.
“Fred Pieper is all about generating readiness,” said AMCOM commander, Maj. Gen. Todd Royar.
“From when I personally first met him in 2003 while instructing a phase team on an AH-64D [Apache] in Iraq to today where he fixes potential supply availability before they become problems, there are none better than him.”
Pieper retired from the Army in 2005 and immediately came to work for AMCOM. He said he misses experiencing firsthand the “exciting pace of technology advancement and resulting improvements in the lethality of our weapons systems.” But he still gets to influence and motivate.
“I am now directly supporting the Soldiers doing the work I did when I was in uniform,” Pieper said.
Now, Pieper’s Army civilian career is drawing to a close after more than 15 years serving with AMCOM. He is still a patriot and said he believes that everyone should serve at least one military tour for their country.
“I have loved my time serving my country and the Army,” he said.