Brig. Gen. Richard Stephen “Steve” Ritchie, USAF
“I miss combat flying to this day,” says Ritchie (photographed with an F-4 Phantom at Ellington Airport in Houston), who logged more than 4,000 hours during his Air Force career. As an F-4 pilot in Vietnam, he shot down five Mig-21s. “During the minute or so of a dogfight, most of what we did was due to instinct, reflexes, study of the latest intelligence, and on-the-job training,” he says. Ritchie is also quick to credit others: “I would not be a fighter ace had it not been for tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel in the entire support community.” Since retiring in 1999, Ritchie has traveled the world, giving lectures on how to succeed.