Sky is the Limit for PSU Grads

A Sunday Centre Daily Times article featured a pair of Penn State alumni who share a unique distinction. Maj. David Fitzsimmons, class of 1998, and Capt. Steve Gaugler, class of 1997, are part of an elite group of Marine Corps pilots.

Marine Squadron One, called HMX-1 for short, carries the responsibility of transporting the president, cabinet members, and select foreign leaders during flights in and out of Washington. Of the 75 pilots, six hold Penn State degrees.

According to the article, Fitzsimmons is one of only five HMX-1 pilots who fly green Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N Whitehawk helicopters with the president on board.

“Every time you fly by the Washington Monument and turn right to go to the South Lawn, you get that little tingle in your belly, and you realize not everyone gets to do this,” Fitzsimmons said.

Gaugler, in addition to serving as a co-pilot, currently works as a White House liaison officer with Marine One advance. According to the article,  he is responsible for locating suitable landing locations, hanger facilities, and solving logistical questions with White House staff, the Secret Service, local police, and airports.

Fitzsimmons and Gaugler prove that one never really knows where a Penn State education will take them. As teachers said in grade school, the sky is truly the limit.

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Michael Verbickas

I'm a Junior majoring in Print Journalism and English. I consider myself passionate about history, sports, politics, crossword puzzles and short stories.


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