CLASS OF 1974
Alan Kuntz graduated from Rice Avenue Union High School with honors in 1974. Fourth in his class, he was very active in school, extra-curricular activities, sports, and the community. He was a multiple letter winner â€“ Cross Country (team captain), Track & Field, Basketball (manager), Chorus (qualifying at District Chorus to attend both Regional and State Chorus, and earning the National School Choral Award), Marching and Concert Band (again qualifying at Districts to attend Regional Band and Orchestra), Jazz Band, and directed the Pep Band. He was inducted into the National Honor Society, was elected Senior Class Treasurer, earned his Eagle Scout award and was the recipient of the Northwest Jaycees Award for Outstanding Sportsmanship.
In his senior year, Alan was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, entering in July of that year. During his four years at Annapolis, he was a member of the Men's Glee Club, Chapel Choir, Drum & Bugle Corps and Pep Band. He graduated in June of 1978 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy. He immediately entered flight school, earning his Navy Wings of Gold in April of 1980. He was selected to train in and fly the Grumman A-6E Intruder, an aircraft carrier-based all-weather attack jet. During the course of his career he made seven extended deployments to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans and Persian Gulf, amassing over 1000 arrested landings on 14 different aircraft carriers. In the course of a 21-year career, Alan accumulated over 5000 flight hours in a dozen different aircraft, was selected to command first the Medium Attack Weapons School Pacific and subsequently Attack Squadron 115, an 18-plane A-6E squadron forward deployed to Japan on board the USS Independence (CV-62), responsible for over 350 sailors. After a year at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he completed the requirements for a Master's Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, he was selected to be the Operations Officer of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), a 100,000-ton floating city of 6500 sailors and over 80 aircraft. As Operations Officer, he was responsible for 400+ sailors that included the Intelligence Center and Cryptologic Technicians, Air Operations, Carrier Air Traffic Control Center, the Combat Direction Center, Anti-Submarine Warfare Module, Strike Operations, Joint Air Operations Center, Meteorology Department and Photography Laboratory, as well as interfacing with the other shipboard departments, embarked Air Wing, ships in the Battle Group, and embarked Admiral's staff. His career awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, two Strike/Flight Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southeast Asia Service Medal, Navy Expert Pistol Medal, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, five Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and two Overseas Deployment Ribbons. He retired from active duty as a Commander in June of 1999.
Alan began his second career with Southwest Airlines in May of 2000, upgrading to Captain in November 2006. He is currently based at Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois, with almost 10,000 hours of total time flying the Boeing 737. He has lived in Whitefish, Montana since 2000, married to the former Michelle Tozer of Oak Harbor, Washington. They have three children, daughter Jaime, and sons Brad and Kevin. In Whitefish, Alan is extremely active in the community with Southwest's Adopt-a-Pilot program, and as an assistant coach with the high school's Track & Field and Cross Country Teams. The Boys' Track teams have been named State Champions three times in that period, Girls' Cross Country State Champions four consecutive years, and this year the Boys' Cross Country Team was crowned State Champs. For the last 10 years, Alan has been an official for the Montana State Track Meet (Head Timer the last four years), and in his spare time he is the Whitefish High School "Bulldog" Mascot!
Alan is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, spent nearly 20 years volunteering as a Youth Group Advisor and Mentor, and recently was Project Manager of a two and-a-half year renovation of the church (which is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings); a 32-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society; a Life Member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, U.S. Naval Institute, Tailhook Association and Association of Naval Aviation; National Rifle Association, and Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association.