- USAF Academy Department of History
Lt. Gen Forrest S. Mccartney: The First Space Professional
by David C. Arnold
The achievements of the earliest space professionals teach some key lessons about what a space professional looks like. The first space professional was retired Air Force Lieutenant General Forrest Striplin McCartney. His career is a perfect example of a professional space career. After graduation from college and an assignment at Cape Canaveral, Florida, laying the same communications cables he would later use, McCartney had assignments in space operations taking pictures of the Soviet Union from Corona satellites, in acquisitions buying the Titan III space launch booster and communications satellites, and along the climb to lieutenant general, developed his professional skills as a leader of military organizations. This paper is about a space professional reveals the value of studying the development of space professionals in the 20th century as a means of developing space professionals in the 21st century.