HomeNewsArticle Display

The 174th says goodbye to Maj. Pyke during retirement ceremony

New York Air National Guard Maj. David Pyke (right) receives a Certificate of Retirement from Lt. Col. Charles Hutson, Commander of the 174th Comptroller Flight on 4 October 2013 during a retirement ceremony held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York. Maj. Pyke also received a Meritorious Service Medal during the ceremony. Maj. Pyke joined the unit in April of 1990. (New York Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Duane Morgan)

New York Air National Guard Maj. David Pyke (right) receives a Certificate of Retirement from Lt. Col. Charles Hutson, Commander of the 174th Comptroller Flight on 4 October 2013 during a retirement ceremony held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York. Maj. Pyke also received a Meritorious Service Medal during the ceremony. Maj. Pyke joined the unit in April of 1990. (New York Air National Guard Photo by Senior Airman Duane Morgan)

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- The 174th Attack Wing bid farewell to Maj. David Pyke, Deputy Comptroller of the 174th Comptroller Flight, in a retirement ceremony on October 4, 2013.

Towards the end of his high school years, Maj. Pyke was struggling to figure and out a way to pay for college. Having a grandfather who served during World War II and a father who also served in the armed forces, joining the military was not only encouraged but was also an option that appealed to him.

"I always wanted to work on and be around airplanes," said Pyke. "I knew I always wanted to fly too. I just didn't know how to go about doing it and the Air Force helped me accomplish both of those things."

Initially, Pyke joined the Air Force through the delayed entry program April 5, 1990. At that time, he underwent training at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. While at Westover, he was able to meet the pilots who would help guide him in the right direction to becoming a pilot himself.

After returning to New York, Pyke worked in the engine shop for 11 years. During this time, he pursued and obtained a college degree which led him to becoming an officer.

"I wanted to put my degree to use and to also see what other avenues were out there," said Pyke.

Pyke admitted that transition from being a Staff Sergeant to a Second Lieutenant was a difficult task.

"That promotion was most important because it was the hardest one I had worked for." said Pyke. "Going through the officer program was pretty intense."

Finishing the officer program also brought about one of Pyke's proudest moments of his career.

"My proudest moment was when Lt. Col. Charles Hutson pinned 2nd Lt. on me," said Pyke. "It was special because it was someone from my home station who was participating in a promotion that I worked very hard for."

Looking back over his career, the one thing that Pyke felt helped him and that he feels could help others was, "taking advantage of every educational opportunity awarded to you, seeing yourself right now, five years from now and putting yourself in a position to get there." He went -on to state, "If there is a place that you want to get to in your career, the people here can help you get you there."

When asked what he'll miss the most about the 174th.

"The people," said Pyke. "I worked with an incredible group of people and they would take the shirts off their backs and give it to you."

Pyke hinted at possibly returning to duty sometime in the future. "I'm retired...that doesn't mean that I'm done," said Pyke.