***image1***Ramstein American High School will be sending three graduating seniors to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. this year. Kenny Grosselin, Chris Steel and Collette Bannister will report in June as members of the class of 2008.
That is a significant accomplishment since only 1300 cadets are chosen out of over 11,700 candidates.
However, Chris Steel is one of a long family line of those who have attended military academies.
He is the fifth in the family to take the Air Force Academy path for further education.
Chris’ grandfather, Craig Mahaffy, graduated from West Point in 1954; his father, Col. Robert Steel, graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1978; and his mother, Dorothy Mahaffy Steel graduated from USAFA in 1980.
His brothers James and Jonathan are cadets at the Air Force Academy in classes of 2006 and 2007.
“I am inspired by the Air Force way of life — moving to new challenges and places and having the opportunity to serve my country,” Chris says.
When asked if he felt pressured to go to the Air Force Academy, Chris said, “No, my family is very open to allowing each of us to make our own decisions about pursuing military service.”
“I was inspired by my Grandfather, Major General Maxwell W. Steel II, who served during World War II as an Army doctor and then transferred to the USAF after it was established in 1947. The history he taught me and the people he served with and met in his life time was a motivator for me.”