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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 5, 2003 - Issue 84


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Lazare enjoys Career as Navy Flight Instructor

by Greg Horn - The Eastern Door
credits: photo - Lazare flying over the Caribbean Sea.

Lazare flying over the Caribbean Sea. He's spent almost half his life in the U.S. Navy and is a pilot and flight instructor. Lieutenant Corey Lazare enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Centennial Academy in 1986. He first worked in Aviation Maintenance Hydraulics until 1990 when he got out of the Navy as a Second Class Petty Officer.

In September 1990 Lazare attended Dawson College and then transferred to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1991. He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor's Degree in Professional Aeronautics. He then decided to head back to the Navy.

He applied and was accepted into the Navy's Officer Program for a pilot slot. He attended the Navy's Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida in May 1995 and was commissioned in August 1995. Shortly after he was commissioned Lazare began pre-flight indoctrination.

"I always wanted to fly and I believe that Navy pilots are the best trained because they have to land on aircraft carriers," Lazare told The Eastern Door.

He started primary flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whitting Field, Florida in January 1996. At that time he flew a T-34 Mentor. After completing primary training Lazare began intermediate flight training on a T-2 Buckeye at NAS Meridian, Mississippi. He began advanced flight training on the TA-4J Skyhawk in February 1997. Lazare received his wings in February 1998 and now flies an S-3 Viking.

"Since I was six or seven I always wanted to be a Navy pilot," Lazare said.

S-3 VikingAccording to the U.S. Navy an S-3 Viking is an all-weather, carrier-based jet aircraft. It provides protection against hostile surface combatants while also functioning as the Carrier Battle Groups' primary overhear/mission tanker. It is extremely versatile and is equipped for many missions, including day and night surveillance, electronic countermeasures, command/control/communications warfare as well as search and rescue. The S-3 Viking also carries the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile, the Maverick guided missile as well as conventional bombs and torpedoes.

The S-3 Viking costs $27 million US, has a 68-foot wingspan and a top speed of 828.8 km/h. It is powered by two General Electric turbofan engines giving 9,275 pounds of thrust each. The S-3 Viking has a crew of two to four people.

The 33-year-old Lazare is married to his wife Shannon and is currently serving as a flight instructor in San Diego, California. He says that one of the worst things about being in the military is being away from his family. He only makes it back to Kahnawake about once a year. His parents are Leroy Lazare and Gayla Ouimet and his stepmother is Annie Lazare and stepfather is Noel Ouimet. He also has two brothers; Brennen Lazare and Mark Ouimet.

What does he like about being in the military?

"The challenges, the people, the responsibility, there are too many to list," Lazare said. "But where else can you get to hang around with a bunch of guys very similar to you, go fly, drop bombs, see the world and get paid for it?"

S-3 VikingSpeaking of seeing the world, during his Navy career Lazare has been to more than 15 countries and 31 cities around the world. He has also been to about 35 different states within the U.S. He's been to places like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Marseille, France; London, England; Rome, Italy; Cairo, Egypt; Jerusalem, Israel; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

"I think that it is a great lifestyle," Lazare said. "I would encourage anyone who is thinking of enlisting to get a college degree and then join the military as an Officer. There are better opportunities, better chances to lead and more money.

"If someone's not ready to go to college, then enlisting in the military may be a good way to see the world and wait a few years until you're ready for school," Lazare continued. "If someone enlists or is already enlisted, then I would encourage them to check into the Officer Programs that they may be eligible for."

The military has programs where they will pay the student's salary as well as tuition and book costs.

In May, Lazare will be transferring to the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Once there he will be changing to an E-6 Mercy, which is a Boeing 707. He is eligible for retirement from the Navy in 2011 and would like to fly for an airline or an air freight company.

With a war with Iraq looming and the possibility of more problems in North Korea, where does Lazare fit into it all? He says that he will probably not get deployed into the Middle East or anywhere else.

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