Mighty Ninety captain assists with Glory Trip

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Munoz
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Captain Wesley Coonradt, 321st Missile Squadron, is scheduled to assist with a Glory Trip at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, from June 5 to Aug. 13, 2021.

His road to the glory trip is not dissimilar from many who join the military: for him it was a family affair. Coonradt’s decision to join the military was based on his father’s four years of service in the United States Marine Corps.

“My dad was a Marine, so part of our family’s values was an obligation to serve the country,” said Coonradt.

He decided to commission over enlisting after receiving an ROTC scholarship in order to pursue his family’s commitment to serve their country.

“I started school not knowing if I was going to be able to pay my way through it,” said Coonradt. “I decided that if I didn’t get picked up for an ROTC scholarship in my first year, I would put my degree on pause and enlist. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship during that year.

Coonradt is currently working toward achieving a master’s degree in project management and uses his passion for learning to benefit his job as well

“I love to learn,” said Coonradt. “It motivates me to dig into the technical intricacies of the weapon system while I’m at work.”

Coonradt enjoys going to parks and playing pretend with his spouse, Lauryn, and his child, Naaz, when he is not reading or working on his degree.

“They have been on a rocket ship kick since I’ve been trying to explain what I do at work,” said Coonradt. “We play a lot of board games, including some made for three year olds. We also like listening to music together and dancing.”

Coonradt has been pulling week-long alerts since Naaz was one year old, and has concerns that his child noticed his absence through development.

“The week-long deployments are difficult on my spouse, since they have to take care of our three year old for a full week straight,” said Coonradt.

He has attempted to stay involved with his child by reading stories over the phone at the missile launch control center, but he still finds the experience challenging.

“It’s really hard on me and a lot harder on my spouse,” said Coonradt.

Glory Trip, also known as the Air Force Global Strike Command Minuteman III Operational Test Launch, is an operational test launch that continues a long history of Western Range space range launches used to verify, validate and improve the capability of the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile force.