The Colonel: A Conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Augustus Beckcom III
Play • 1 hr 34 min

In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with his Dad, Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Augustus Beckcom III, about overcoming adversity and the characteristics of great leadership. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ed Beckcom served during the Vietnam war, flying over 200+ combat missions navigating B-52 Bombers. He flew the last B-52 mission of the war from Guam, which sparked the negotiations that would ultimately bring the war to an end. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ed Beckcom’s military experiences taught him mental toughness and discipline, but it was his life experiences that taught him how to deal with adversity. 

When his boys were 5 and 3, Col. Beckcom found out that his wife had terminal breast cancer. Col. Beckcom was on the military fast track, but he put his military career on the back burner to focus on raising his sons after their mother, and his wife, ultimately lost her five-year struggle with cancer. 

Despite the hardships, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Beckcom continued to be optimistic. He counted his blessings, worked hard, and learned to lead through adversity.   

In this episode, Brian and Lieutenant Colonel Ed Beckcom discuss:

  • His lifelong habit of exercise and the characteristics that distinguish people who exercise from real athletes
  • What it was like growing up as a military brat, being uprooted from his life in the states to live in the Middle East at the age of 14
  • The reasons why he decided to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, joining the A&M Corps of Cadets and devoting his life to military service
  • What it was like flying B-52 bombers for 1,300+ hours into the heart of combat zones
  • The challenges he faced after losing his wife to breast cancer and raising two boys as a single father while simultaneously upholding his duties to the Armed Forces
  • The value of staying positive, working hard, and keeping life simple
  • The characteristics that make someone a good person and a good leader
  • Mentorship and the lasting imprints great leaders leave on others
  • And other things

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Augustus Beckcom was born on May 15th of 1943. He spent most of his youth as a military brat, traveling in and out of the states until he made his way back to Texas (on his own at the young age of 17). He graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in History and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  From there, he would go on to navigate B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War. He flew 200+ combat missions in Southeast Asia for a total of 1,300 hours of combat flight. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 11 Air Medals. After his distinguished military career, Col. Beckcom taught Air Force Junior R.O.T.C. at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, before retiring in 2002. Today, Colonel Ed Beckcom is retired and lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his loving wife, Janice, a retired law enforcement officer.

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