Frederick's Open Road

FREDERICK GREGORY

Deputy Administrator
NASA

“I think that you have to really believe. And this means having high esteem with yourself.”

INTERESTS:

Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Choices Confidence Experience Risk Planning Self-Reflection Beliefs & Faith Opportunity

TAGS:

air force, air force academy, astronaut, boat racing, boating, contribution, direction, emotion, flying, have fun, helicopter pilot, instant gratification, instant satisfaction, intellectual, looking back, make a contribution, racing boats, self esteem, test pilot

BIOGRAPHY:

At 18, Gregory was forced to choose between big-time boat racing and the Air Force Academy. "It was really, probably, one of the toughest decisions I've made," says Gregory. In the end, Gregory chose the Air Force even though he wouldn't see any payback until after graduation of the academy. This decision led Gregory to where he is today, NASA. Frederick has had a smorgasbord of different paths because when he wasn't happy, he pursued another path. "In the first eight years in the Air Force, I moved 13 or 14 times...I applied to test pilot school and was accepted only because I was bored. I flew as a test pilot for five or six years, and then applied to the astronaut program because I was bored. I flew as an astronaut for years and then left the astronaut program because I was bored with it. And I've been up here (in his current position) since ‘93 and I absolutely love this. So how would I have known?" If Gregory had chosen a different path at 18, perhaps he would be surrounded with different images: pictures of prize boats, adventures at sea, model ships, and boating trophies. Yet, Gregory is confident that he had made the right decision. Today, Gregory can say with certainty, "I think it would have been wrong to go into boating. I have wanted to do the Air Force Academy and go into flying for a very long time."

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