Circle of Service: Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne & the Family Business
Manufacturer: RTN Press
In 2008 Michael Wynne was forced to resign from the Pentagon’s top civilian post in the Air Force. Here’s the whole story ... his life story and that of his family’s service to America.
In early November 2005, Acting Secretary of the Air Force Pete Geren swore in Michael Wynne as Secretary of the Air Force in a ceremony at the Air Force Academy. It has been a long journey for Michael and his wife Barb -- and the culmination of many years of service and sacrifice for the extended Wynne family.
The most interesting aspects of the Wynne story begin with his education at West Point and his commision into the Air Force in 1966. He received his master's degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and began a short career at the Air Force Academy as an instructor. However, his expertise in computer technology along with his military background made him attractive to the defense industry and he went to work for Research Analysis and Development. This opportunity allowed him to hone his significant technical skills in a business environment while getting into financial modeling. After receiving his MBA from the University of Colorado, Mike's career recieved a major boost when he joined General Dynamics in the mid-1970s.
From that moment on, Wynne performed at intersection of the military industrial complex focusing on a series of planes, tanks, and other weapons and systems -- from the perspective of development, acquistion, and strategy.
Author Richard Bessette divides the narrative into a detailed recitation of the progress of Wynne's career interspersed with glimpses into his personal life. Since it's likely that the audience for this piece would be most interested in the workings of the Department of Defense during the early years of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, I was disappointed that it took 290 pages to get there. Along with significant footnoting, a complete list of citations, and an extensive index, this book seems more of a reference than a strict biography. Wynne's experiences in the military, industry, and government would be invaluable to researchers and novelists looking for an insider's perspective the business of arms development and acquisition -- and politics.
Reviewed by: Joyce Faulkner (2012)