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Former dean Rick Cosier takes part in civic leader flight at Grissom Air Reserve Base

Thursday, June 15, 2017

participants in front of a KC-135R

The United States Air Force (USAF) recently recognized Rick Cosier, dean emeritus of the Krannert School and Leeds Professor of Management, for his role as academic director of Purdue’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV).

Cosier was among 19 civic leaders from central Indiana invited to the 434th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) at Grissom Air Reserve Base on June 6, 2017, to fly aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker on an hour-and-half mission of a B-52 Stratofortress along an aerial refueling track over western Kentucky and Missouri.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Cosier says. “What a thrill to be part of a mid-air refueling mission. The men and women of our Air Force are amazing.”

In addition to recognizing civic leaders, the event served as an opportunity to highlight Grissom’s people and aircraft, says Douglas Hays, 434th Air Refueling Wing public affairs operations chief.

"We want the public to see how their tax dollars are being utilized,” Hays says. “Flights like these allow participants to share the experience with family, friends and colleagues to help spread the word of Grissom to an even larger audience."

Also referred to as the “Hoosier Wing,” the 434th ARW at Grissom is the largest aerial refueling unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The base is named in honor of Purdue alumnus Gus Grissom, who was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and the first to fly in space twice.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing also plays an important part in the state’s economy. The wing has a combined military-civilian work force and is the largest employer in Miami County. More than 85 percent of wing personnel live in Indiana, generating an estimated economic impact on the area exceeding $130 million annually.

About the EBV

Created at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management in 2007, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program teaches post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities the principles of entrepreneurship and small-business management. The all-expenses paid program accepts students based on the quality of their proposals for starting their own businesses.

The EBV program, hosted at 10 university business schools around the country, has three phases: an online learning program; an intensive, on-campus residency session where veterans learn to develop their own business concepts and understand the basic elements of small-business management; and a 12-month mentorship with faculty experts at the participating universities.

Purdue University's Krannert School of Management has produced 172 graduates of the program since joining the consortium in 2009. The 24 enrollees in 2016 included four Hoosiers and participants from 10 other states representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

The Krannert School will host veterans from around the United States for its ninth annual EBV residency on Oct. 27-Nov. 4, 2017. Veterans will receive instruction from faculty, entrepreneurs, disability experts and business professionals on topics such as feasibility and market analysis, supply chain management and financing new ventures. They will also spend time Purdue's experts at the Purdue Foundry in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.


Indiana civic leaders including Rick Cosier, dean emeritus of the Krannert School and Purdue’s Leeds Professor of Management, pose with Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander and aircrew after a flight at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., June 6, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cali Wetli)