U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Vincent Mancuso, a graduate of the first senior class at Gig Harbor High School, will be promoted to the rank of major general during a ceremony Sunday (July 26) at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Mancuso, who turns 52 next month, is a command pilot and a command cyberspace operations officer who holds a Ph.D. in information systems. During his seven-year active-duty career, he flew 36 combat missions in the F-4G Wild Weasel during Operation Desert Storm. After transitioning to the Air Force Reserve, he became the command’s first-ever graduate of the National Defense University’s Advanced Management program.
As an Air Force reservist, Mancuso currently splits his time between working with the Air Force Chief of Staff at the Pentagon and his civilian job, flying commercial airliners with Delta Airlines.
Mancuso “would never have never predicted a path toward general” after graduating from Gig Harbor High in 1981, he said this week.
He did, however, know that he wanted to fly jets at an early age. A 17-year-old Mancuso earned his pilot’s license flying small airplanes out of the Tacoma Narrows Airport, something he relived this week during a few local flights around his hometown.
“It’s neat reconnecting with people that I haven’t seen in 10 years,” he said.
A group of about 150 friends, family members and former classmates and teachers will gather at the museum on Sunday to watch the 31-year Air Force veteran be promoted to the rank of two-star general.
“This is about me thanking the family,” said Mancuso, who held his previous promotion ceremony in Washington D.C., where he lives with his wife. “I wanted to do it closer to family and friends.”