Alumni Spotlight: Major Benjamin "FLASH" Wiford, '08

Maj. FLASH Wiford
Major Benjamin “Flash” Wiford is a 2008 graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Systems Engineering Technology and fulfilled his dream of becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force.

He has logged more than 1,450 flight hours and earned two Air Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and three Air Force Commendation Medals.  He is currently Assigned as an instructor and evaluator pilot at the B1 Formal Training Unit, the 28th Bomb Squadron, and leads an elite team of experts that formulate/evaluate/instruct B-1 combat tactics for 37 instructors/50 students per year.

In addition, he supervises the implementation of the 7th Bomb Wing’s flying hour program and coordinated with maintenance leadership to execute over 700 sorties and 3000 flight hours annually. 

“Flash” Wiford was recognized as the 2021 Young Alumni Award recipient at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering Alumni and Friends Reception and Award Ceremony on October 1, 2021 for his demonstration of excellence in his professional field and service to the community and he embodies the values, spirit and pride of Kent State University. 

News FLASH: A Q&A Worth Reading

We asked Maj Wiford a few questions to learn more about his at Kent State University. His answers are what every professional working at Kent State University hopes to hear from their students alumni. #FlashesForever 

College of Aeronautics and Engineering: How did your time at Kent State prepare you for your career? 

Benjamin Wiford: As an Air Force Officer and B-1 Instructor Pilot, time management is critical. Kent State faculty helped me perfect that skill. During my undergrad I enrolled in a full course load with over 20 credit hours per semester toward my degree and ROTC commission. Yet, I was still given the opportunity to support the football and athletic teams all four years as a member of the Kent State Marching Golden Flashes and Flasher Brass athletic bands. The professors at Kent State assisted me on balancing my time appropriately to excel in both my academic classes and extra-curricular activities.

 

CAE: What is your favorite Kent State memory?

BW: Taking the field as a member of the Kent State Marching Golden Flashes. Those fall Saturdays putting on the uniform, marching down the field, and playing the Kent State Fight Song will always be my greatest memory.

 

CAE: What class and/or faculty member had the greatest impact on you?

BW: Dr. Maureen McFarland held me to a high standard and set the bar for what it means to be a military aviator. For that reason I was honored to have her commission me as a 2d Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

 

CAE: If you could tell your past self any one thing, what would it be?

BW: I would tell my past self to maintain strong relationships with all your Kent State friends. It is too easy to fall out of contact with people, but those friends at Kent State share a common bond and experience that no one else can replace.

 

CAE: What advice do you have for current students?

BW: Enjoy your experience at Kent State while it lasts. It is a small amount of time that will have an impact on you for the rest of your life.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 6:00am
UPDATED: Monday, March 28, 2022 - 3:34pm