Becoming a soldier was a longtime dream for Grant Long. But after a knee injury that required surgery, his dream seemed out of reach — until his dad heard about PIA. Today, thanks to the A&P license he earned at PIA, Long is a U.S. Army Blackhawk Crew Chief: “The Army saw something in me. I couldn’t join before, but with my PIA work, they wanted me. I was sworn in three months before graduating, and three weeks later I left for boot camp.”
After four months of Army Blackhawk training school — which he found “significantly easier than PIA” — Grant jumped into his first assignment maintaining Blackhawk helicopters in South Korea. After just five months, he was promoted to Crew Chief, a position of great responsibility with duties ranging from maintenance to navigation and supervision to combat.
“I had no idea I wanted to work on Blackhawks when I enlisted,” said Long. “I was prepared to do any aviation job the Army had for me. There were eight or nine options. In my opinion, I got the best one.”