Colonel Pugh served as Air Force professor, scientist
Veteran of the Week
MADISON – After compiling 22 years of service, Colonel Henry Pugh retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1996 with the rank of Colonel.
At the University of Alabama (UA), Pugh completed the AFROTC program in 1970 and then graduate studies before entering active duty in 1974. An early tour was at Rome Air Development Center at Griffiss Air Force Base (AFB) in Rome, N.Y. as a solid-state device analyst.
At U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Pugh was associate professor and research director in the physics department. He worked as Program Manager for Advanced Weapons Systems at Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Bolling AFB in Washington, DC. He then served as Chief of Spacecraft Electronics Division at Air Force Space Technology Center, Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, N.M.
“In 1990, I was assigned to Air Force Studies and Analyses Agency, Pentagon as Chief Analyst,” Pugh said, and then as Deputy Chief Scientist for Space Applications at the Pentagon. Again at Kirtland AFB, Pugh worked as Director of Space and Missile Technology Division until retirement.
After retiring from the Air Force, Pugh moved to Madison in 1996 to lead Advanced Programs for McDonnell Douglas and then work as Chief Engineer for The Boeing Company and as director of Boeing research, technology and advanced programs. He retired from Boeing in 2008.
Pugh earned bachelor’s and doctorate’s degrees in physics from UA and a master’s degree in systems management at the University of Southern California.
He is married to Dr. Gaylen Pugh, who earned a doctorate’s degree in special education administration from Gallaudet University. Semi-retired, Gaylen continues to pursue educational consulting and has held numerous lead roles in community theatre. Their daughter Katherine Hanneman and husband Ben live in Tulsa, Okla., where she teaches pre-kindergartners.
The Pughs are members of Asbury United Methodist Church, where he volunteers as Sunday School teacher, altar prayer partner and team leader for a weekly course at Limestone Correctional Facility.
An avid traveler, Henry Pugh has visited historical and religiously significant sites, including Israel, Rome, Pompeii, Athens, Ephesus and Malta. He often joins longtime friends for doubles at Huntsville Tennis Center.