In the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11, the call to serve one’s nation echoed loudly across America. For First Officer Trey Strickland, this call was answered by enlisting in 2006 to the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Trey began his military career as a Private, E-2, he found his place as a 15J (Armament/Electrical & Avionics Repairer) on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter. However, a desire to do more and a unique chance to join the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Ole Miss led him to pursue a degree and graduate as an officer in 2011.
Military cockpit to civilian flight deck
During a deployment to the Middle East, Trey contemplated his post-military career path. The turning point came as he boarded a plane home, adorned with the American flag on its tail. Inspired by the symbolism and a yearning to bring his fellow service members back from war, he set his sights on a career in commercial aviation – A decision that led him to join Envoy in 2019.
When asked to share his advice with fellow service members transitioning to civilian life or contemplating a career shift, Trey advised others to, “find your passion and pursue it relentlessly. Whether it’s flying commercially or engaging in another field, do not let fear or uncertainty hinder you.”
A check off the bucket list
Earlier this year, Trey had the honor of returning to his alma mater to deliver the game ball at the Ole Miss Veteran’s Appreciation Game. “Flying over the stadium during the National Anthem and being announced on the field during the 3rd quarter made my experience truly special,” shared Trey. “It was a full circle moment that checked off a significant item on my bucket list.”
Trey’s journey from the military to commercial aviation has been a testament to the opportunities and personal growth that military service can offer. As he continues to pursue his passion for flying and serving his country, he encourages others to embrace their dreams, overcome obstacles, and seize the opportunities that arise.