Title: Retired Lieutenant Colonel
Company: U.S. Air Force, New York Air National Guard
Location: East Syracuse, New York, United States
Lt. Col. Raymond. F. Besecker, USAF/ GE Retired, Retired Lieutenant Colonel at U.S. Air Force and New York Air National Guard, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Military for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the U.S. Air Force and New York Air National Guard.
Honorably serving the United States Air Force and New York Air National Guard for 42 years, with 30 years of active duty, Lt. Col. Besecker is distinguished for his military service and loyalty to national security. Likewise, he also spent time with the New York Air National Guard. In his most recent career role, Lt. Col. Besecker worked as an Integration Engineering Planner and Scheduler for Sonar Systems for General Electric for 33 years. Specifically, he dealt with integration engineering, in which he tested all new sonar systems that went onto Navy ships. As president of the U.S. Navy League’s central New York chapter in 1994 and 1995, he had the opportunity to sail on a Navy submarine.
The highlight of Lt. Col. Besecker’s career has been accepting the Airman’s Medal from the U.S. Air Force for saving a life in Niagara Falls in 1963. To add to his accomplishments, he has also received a Meritorious Service Medal, Judge Toldman Award, Volunteers of the Year Award, Presidential Award, Sportsman of the Year Award and Izaak Walton League of America Award, of which he is a charter member. More recently, he was named New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame in 2015 and to Who’s Who in the Industrial World in 1980. In addition, Lt. Col. Besecker holds life membership with and is a board member of Friends of Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery.
Lt. Col. Besecker attended Officer Candidate School, the Air Force University, Commissioning School and Cornell University, where he took coursework in flight school. At the end of his military career, he has achieved 7,000 hours of flying as a Master Navigator Instructor. A graduate of the Squadron Officer School, he graduated from the USAF Command and Staff College, and was also a student at the Airman Staff and Command School and trained at Camp Drum in New York. Reflecting on his trajectory, Lt. Col. Besecker attributes much of his success to his mentor, James Weaver, and the numerous leaders he met during his education.
Hailing from a family of veterans, Lt. Col. Besecker’s great uncles notably served in World War I. During his time stationed in Germany, he was able to visit their gravesites and learn about their legacy. He also learned his great uncle’s son had joined the U.S. Army and was present during the invasion of Normandy. That same year, he was captured and taken to a concentration camp in Poland. Finding his escape, he returned home and was given a battlefield commission to then retire as a Major. Desiring to uphold his family’s example, Lt. Col. Besecker dedicates time to working with inner-city kid’s environmentalist ventures. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and golfing.
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