Thomas J. Magnan, retired from the Rhode Island Army National Guard as a Chief Warrant Office Five (CW5) on July 1, 2009, completing nearly 41 years of honorable military service, which included active duty deployments to Viet Nam, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He accrued more than 20,000 flight hours in his career, qualifying in aircraft ranging from a two-seat helicopter to the Boeing 727.
Magnan enlisted in the Army on July 26, 1968 and completed the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course the following year. He served in Vietnam with the 57″‘ Assault Helicopter Company in 1969-1970, amassing more than 700 combat flight hours, much of which was in support of highly dangerous and classified Special Forces cross-border operations.
He returned to Rhode Island after his release from active duty, began a civilian career as a private investigator, and joined the RI Guard on January 7, 1971. He has served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer, a Standardization Instructor Pilot, an Instrument Flight Examiner and Safety Officer, in addition to commanding an aviation detachment.
In 1977 he completed his Fixed Wing Qualification, and in 1984 he earned the Master Aviator Badge. In 2005 he volunteered to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he deployed again in August 2008 to Kuwait as the CO of Detachment 23, Operational Support Airlift Command. He has flown more than fifty different aircraft and holds dual Airline Transport Pilot certificates for Fixed and Rotary Wing aircraft. Tom and his wife of 32 years, Mary Ann, have four children and seven grandchildren.