| Capt Tom Carpenter, USMC (1970-1976)
Upon graduation as a distinguished military graduate of the class of 1970 of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, Tom Carpenter received a regular commission in the United States Marine Corps. After completing infantry training at The Basic School in at Quantico Virginia, 1971, he was assigned to the Naval Aviation Training Command at Pensacola, Florida. In 1972, after completion of Naval flight training, including carrier qualifications, he was designated a Naval Aviator.
Tom received advanced combat training with Marine Attack Training Squadron 201 at Marine Corps Air Station (‘MCAS”) Cherry Point, NC and was initially assigned as n A-4 Skyhawk attack pilot with Marine Attack Squadrons (VMA) 331, Beaufort, S.C. He was transferred to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan where he was a member of the famous Wake Island Avengers, VMA- 211. While in Japan, he was transferred to the Headquarters of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Courtney, Okinawa where he served as an Air Liaison Officer and commanded an Air Liaison Platoon.
His final assignment on active duty was VMA 214 at MCAS El Toro, California. He was designated one of three Nuclear Delivery Pilots in his squadron and in his last assignment with the famous "Black Sheep" squadron was the youngest Operations Officer in Marine Corps Aviation. As a result of the then-existing regulation and exclusion of gays in the military, Carpenter resigned his commission in 1976, at the rank of Captain. While on active duty he accumulated more than 2500 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk. He later joined the Marine Reserves and continued his service until 1980. Both while on active duty and in the Reserves Tom was consistently deep selected for promotion. From 1978 through 1983, Tom was a pilot for Continental Airlines, flying the Boeing 727.
While flying for Continental, Tom attended Golden State University School of Law in San Francisco. Graduating in 1980, he moved to Los Angeles where he joined the firm of Kern and Wooley. In 1986, he made a lateral move and became a member of Bronson, Bronson and McKinnon, LLP. At Bronson he was a member of the Los Angeles office management committee and headed the Products Liability Group. He has been lead counsel on numerous civil jury trials representing both defendants and plaintiffs.
In 2005, after 25 years of practice, Carpenter retired as partner from the law firm of Shaw, Terhar and La Montagne, LLP where he was a trial lawyer specializing in Aviation litigation, products liability, entertainment and commercial litigation. He is a member of the Bars of California and Colorado, and a Judge Pro Tem of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Tom became a principal in the strategic consulting firm of Conegy Advisors in 2008. Tom served on the Board of Directors for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network from 1995-2008. He was co-chair of the Board from 1998-2005. He lives in Los Angeles with his spouse of 17 years, Art Andrade.