Published November 02, 2017
Richard Metcalf joined the Air Force in May 1973, starting his 30-year career in maintenance as a jet engine mechanic on the F-4 Phantom II. He had three goals upon entering the Air Force: to make technical sergeant in 10 years, master sergeant in 15 and retire at 20. However, after achieving the grade of master sergeant in 11 years, he had his eye set on making chief, and the rest is history. Metcalf ended up working past his 20-year goal while maintaining engines used on F-106 Delta Darts, F-105 Thunderchiefs as well as the A-10 Thunderbolt II. He retired June 1, 2003, as a chief master sergeant and has continued to serve his community. He and his wife opened an alpaca farm in Clovis, New Mexico; partly to supplement his retirement pay, but also to educate the Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, community about these unique animals. They have helped people with their first alpaca purchase, boarding their alpacas or advising them on sound breeding decisions. Metcalf has been in the Alpaca business for more than 10 years and plans to continue giving back to the community.