Moody retires after 36 years of military service

  • Published
  • By Douglas Hays
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
When Todd Moody was working at his only other job, dishing burgers in a fast food restaurant, he was nearly fired for being too slow. Fast forward more than 36 years and the long time Grissom fixture is preparing to move back into the slow lane.

Lt. Col. Todd Moody, 434th Operations Group commander, is retiring in June – after more than 36 years in uniform.

Moody entered the Air Force Academy when he was 17 years old, and it all began with a brochure his mother gave him.

“I grew up in West Virginia, and I knew I would have to work my way through college, and then one evening my Mom gives me this pamphlet, and I as I read it I thought well I won’t have to work – that was the draw” he laughed. “But they don’t tell you that you really earn your money there, and I graduated with about 100 more credit hours than the average college student.”

On top of the academics, the Academy has military training classes and athletic events that are required for every cadet.

Though the events changed seasonally, Moody ran a lot in cross country, wrestled, handball team and even boxed briefly – though he said he didn’t know if he won a match outside of physical education classes.

“I won some matches in PE and was recruited to box, but it was just way too much work to stay in shape for that,” he said with a hearty laugh.

With a fresh commission and no pugilistic dreams, Moody began undergraduate pilot training at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, and combat crew training at Castle AFB, California before being stationed at Grissom as part of the 70th Air Refueling Squadron.

“Having begun my career here and then going a way for a while and coming back it was interesting to see the changes that occurred,” he said.

Those changes were brought on by Base Realignment and Closure which transformed Grissom from an Air Force Base to its current Air Reserve Base.

“It was weird coming back here, because the base was gutted from the active-duty days, but it was great to see how things off base had changed, he said. “Where I lived was in Kokomo and it really seemed to grow while I was gone.

“As an air reserve technician, my first boss here was retired Col. Gary Beebe, and we talked about Grissom’s legacy and keeping that legacy going,” Moody said. “This is a place we do things the right way…..and now I find myself having the same conversation with new people I hire. This is something I care about.”

“I’ve worked alongside Colonel Moody for many, many years,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing Commander. “He’s such a smart guy, always asking the right questions of the right people, and getting the answers and results needed to get the mission done while taking care of Airmen.

“He was the one guy I wanted to be my OG – the one guy!,” Shaw exclaimed. “He knows the mission like the back of his hand and takes care of people.”

That Grissom legacy isn’t ending with Moody’s retirement. In some ways things are just repeating themselves.

“I’m not actually leaving,” he said with a laugh. “I’m going to work in the KC-135R simulator with Beebe, so he’ll be my first boss after I retire.”
He is excited about the opportunity to continue working on the base.
“The best part of the new job is I get to stay here, and still see old friends, so I’m very happy about that,” he added.

The change in jobs also allows for some personal changes as well.
“I’ve been wanting to grow a beard since I was 17,” he laughed. “My wife and mother are not on board, so we’ll see how that goes.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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