Park Ridge Native Enters Military with High Honors

Maine South graduate Dirk Haller has been accepted into the U.S. Air Force's Officer Training School. Once completed, Haller will be working among the most high-tech weaponry for our country's defense.


Dirk Haller, son of Gail and Gary Haller, joined the U.S. Air Force on Friday. Haller enters Officer Training School (OTS) at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, Ala. beginning Oct.  30 with a graduation date in Feb. 2013. Officers are the Captains, Majors and Generals of the Armed Forces. Their duty is, among other things, is to lead troops and set the highest example for the military. Only civilians with a college education can become an officer, and that's only after scoring highly on written and physical tests.

Upon graduation, he will be commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF and serve as a Developmental Engineer for four years. Haller is a Maine South High School graduate (class of 2006) and earned his degree in Aerospace Engineering from UIUC in 2010. He’s been employed at a manufacturing plant in Batavia, Ill. as a quality engineer for the past year-and-a-half.

“His father and I are so proud of Dirk,” said his mother, Gail Haller. “As a USAF veteran myself, I encouraged him to go Air Force if he wanted to serve in the military. As a child, he went to Space Camp in Alabama twice and has been to Florida to see a launch of the space shuttle. As an Aerospace Engineer, he’ll be a Developmental Engineer and work on new technologies, perhaps new weapons systems or cyber warfare.”

Developmental Engineers for the USAF lead the technical development of weapon systems for the USAF. This process spans basic research of scientific principles, applied technology demonstrations, development of prototypes, final design, test & evaluation, operational support, and sustainment engineering. Developmental engineers go to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB, near Dayton, Ohio) and to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. The AFRL is the Air Force's only organization wholly dedicated to the discovery, development and integration of war fighting technologies for air, space and cyberspace forces.


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