Veteran of the Week: Crabb leads Thompson Air Force ROTC

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lt. Col. Douglas M. Crabb, United States Air Force (retired), is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Thompson High School Air Force ROTC. Crabb's motto is "decisions determine destiny." (Contributed)

Lt. Col. Douglas M. Crabb, United States Air Force (retired), is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Thompson High School Air Force ROTC. Crabb’s motto is “decisions determine destiny.” (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Lt. Col. Douglas M. Crabb is the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor of the Air Force ROTC unit at Thompson High School in Alabaster.

College ROTC units are led by active military personnel and high school ROTC units are led by retired military.
Crabb has led ROTC at both the college and high school levels.

Crabb, born in Pennsylvania, initially followed in his father’s teaching footsteps after graduating from Edinboro State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, Social Studies, in May 1979.

He entered the United States Air Force through Officer Training School in February 1985 as a second lieutenant.

Throughout his 27-year career, Crabb rose through the ranks to lieutenant colonel earning his Master of Business Administration, Logistics Management, Air Force Institute of Technology (1989); Air Command and Staff College, (1999); Masters of Military Operational Arts and Science, (1999); and Air War College (2002), Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

While at AFIT, he was on the Dean’s List every quarter and named to the national honor society of management professionals.

During his career, Crabb was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal with one device, Southwest ASIA Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korean Defense Service Medal.

In 1992 he was selected as the Directorate Company Grade Officer of the Year while he served as Deputy Chief of the Strategic Branch in the Automatic Test Systems Division and Executive Officer for the Director of the Aerospace Equipment Management Division in Texas.

Crabb was awarded the Pacific Air Command General Lew Allen Award as the best flight line maintenance officer and one of the top three in the USAF while serving in Korea.

In 2000 under his leadership as Commander of the 1st Component Maintenance Squadron, his squadron won the Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award at DOD level and twice at Air Combat level.

In 2003 he won the 1st Fighter Wing’s General Leo Marquez Award for his outstanding maintenance leadership.

He completed his active career as Deputy Group Commander of the 982d Training Group and commander of the USASF Reserves Training Detachment 820 at Texas Tech University where he was Professor of Aerospace Studies.

His wealth of knowledge and service to our nation was brought to Thompson High School in 2012 after retiring from active duty.

Crabb and wife Kathy have three children and seven grandchildren.