“I wasn’t ready to go to college yet,” Troup said of his decision to join the Air Force, noting his father had also served in that branch of the military.
During his time in service, Troup has visited 115 countries, leading him to state, “I think I’m the most traveled from my class.”
Of those 115 countries, Troup says he spent the most time in Saudi Arabia as a part of North Watch and South Watch, which occurred after Desert Storm. Troup notes he did not really have any favorites among the places he has been, though he did like East Africa, particularly Kenya and Tanzania, and Europe, which he says was easy to get around in.
“I planned on 4 (years) and stayed 24,” says Troup of his time in the service. “It was fun – fun work and I got to travel a lot.”
Troup started as an aircraft mechanic then a pilot flying a four-star admiral, which is where he received the majority of his travel time. For nine years, Troup served as a flight engineer and accumulated most of his flying time through special operations where he logged 3,000 flight hours, 700 of which were in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Troup became a maintenance officer after receiving a commission and a degree. He then went into acquisitions where he bought and helped modify airplanes in Texas. Troup was doing this for 7 years up until his retirement. Prior to his retirement, Troup reached the rank of captain.
“They wanted me to go back to North Dakota and then Washington, D.C., to a Pentagon job,” says Troup. “I said, ‘No, I’m good’.”
Troup describes his time in the military as pleasant. “I had a good time. Made a lot of good friends, a lot of which are retiring, too.”
A high point in his career was when a program he managed turned out 37 airplanes in 18 months. Troup states he had been told the U.S. had not built that many airplanes since World War II.
“That was good,” says Troup, adding he knew the aircrafts were helping keep the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq safe.
Now officially retired, Troup will begin work with a company based in Greenville, Texas, where he will be a systems engineer and will complete aircraft mods much like he was doing in the Air Force.