The Alamo Chapter Leadership

President | Ron Sandoval, ’81

Captain Ronald A. Sandoval, USN, graduated from San Antonio Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1977 after attending Elementary/Junior High Schools in south Central Texas and the Canal Zone, Panama. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1981, and received his MS degree in Business Management from Troy State University in 1989.

Designated a Naval Aviator in 1983, he reported to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six (HS-6) and flew the SH-3H Sea King. During this tour he deployed twice to the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean with Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65), including Mediterranean Operations against Libya in 1986. Captain Sandoval then reported for Instructor Duty in the TH-57B/C Jet Ranger at HT-8, where he was named the 1988 Instructor of the Year.

In July 1989, Captain Sandoval reported to USS TRIPOLI (LPH-10) as the ship’s Navigator. He deployed to the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean in 1989 and again in 1990 participating in Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. He attained full Surface Warfare and Tactical Action Officer qualifications during this tour.

Captain Sandoval reported to HS-14 in 1992 where he deployed aboard USS RANGER (CV-61) during WESTPAC 92-93, participating in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH against Iraq, and PROVIDE COMFORT in support of Somalian Peace Operations. HS-14 deployed aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) during their 1993 Interfleet transit around South America. He was the Maintenance officer and coordinator of the squadron’s transition from the SH-3H to the SH-60F Seahawk in 1994. Captain Sandoval reported to the Pentagon in August 1994 on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Staff as the Assistant Branch Head for Operations, Plans, and Politico-Military Affairs in the Western Hemisphere. During this tour he completed the Air War College Seminar Program.

In January 1997, Captain Sandoval reported to HS-6 for duty as the Executive Officer while on the 96-97 WESTPAC/Arabian Gulf deployment aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63). He was in Command of HS-6 from June 1998 to July 1999. During his Command tour, the squadron deployed for RIMPAC 98 and shortly thereafter, on the 98-99 WESTPAC/Arabian Gulf deployment aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70). His squadron consisted of four SH-60F Anti-Submarine helicopters and three HH-60H Combat Search and Rescue/Utility helicopters. The command maintained the highest sortie/aircraft availability/full mission status/mission status rates among the eight squadrons on the carrier. After Aviation Command, he became the Navigator onboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) in August 1999 deploying twice to the Arabian Gulf. Captain Sandoval was the Deputy Director of Operations for the Joint Information Operations Center (JIOC), Lackland AFB, from September 2001 to March 2005. He reported to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), Randolph AFB, as the Senior Navy Liaison Officer in April 2005.

Captain Sandoval has accumulated over 5300 Total Flight Hours. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (Two Gold Stars), Navy Commendation Medal (Gold Star, one with Combat “V”), Navy Achievement Medal (Gold Star), and the Inter-American Defense Board Medal (Gold Star), in addition to various unit awards and service ribbons. He is married to the former Blanca Bidart of Chula Vista, California. They have a daughter, Veronica and son, Christopher.

Vice President | Eric Challain, ’69

Eric was born in Bremerton, Washington to a Navy family. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA in 1965. Eric received a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy from Washington state. After graduation in 1969, he went to flight training and received his wings as a helicopter pilot in October 1970.

Eric’s first duty was with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One (HC-1) in San Diego, CA flying the SH-3G Sea King. Eric embarked aboard the US Okinawa for the pickup of the Apollo 15 Astronauts. His was assigned to HC-1, DET 9 and made two WestPac deployments with Airwing 15 aboard the USS Coral Sea, CVA-43. Shore duty found Eric on a joint staff at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX where he met and married Irma Faz, now Irma Challain. His last tour of duty with the Navy was Hanger Deck Officer in the commissioning crew on USS Tarawa, LHA-1.

After earning an MBA at the University of Washington, Eric entered the U. S. Coast guard as a Direct Commission Aviator. He flew the HH-3F Pelican in San Diego and in Borinquen, Puerto Rico. Eric transitioned to jets and flew the HU-25 Guardian in Puerto Rico, Mobile, AL and Astoria, OR. Eric retired from the Coast Guard in May 1991.

Eric was hired by American Airlines and flew for 16 years. He retired in September 2007.

Since then he has pursued his interests in gardening, hiking and kayaking. Eric and Irma moved from Fort Worth to San Antonio in 2012.

Treasurer | Thomas A Colbourn ’68

After graduation from the Academy I was assigned to the USS Sterett DLG 31 home ported in Yoskuska, Japan as Communications Officer. On the return of the Sterett to the states I attended Destroyer School in Newport, RI and subsequently was assigned to the USS Voge DE 1047. Initially I served as the ship’s Operations Officer followed by assignment as the Weapons Officer. In August 1973 I left the service for family considerations and went to work in private industry in food and beverage manufacturing. My private company experience included working at Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods, Elon Nutrition, and John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc in positions as Plant Manager, Operations Manager and Vice President of Operations.

I retired in 2010 and am currently involved with several volunteer activities including President of my HOA, member of the Site Based Decision Team for a local elementary school, Financial Officer for a local non profit organization, and serve as Treasurer/Board Member for the Alamo Chapter Naval Academy Alumni Association.

My wife of 45 years Kay and daughter Carey have lived in San Antonio for the past 9 years.

Secretary of the Chapter | Dave Driskell, ’63

Dave is a native Texan. Born in Crockett in East Texas and graduated from high school at Spring Branch Senior High School in Houston, Texas. He was commissioned as a Supply Corps Officer in 1963. After a series of tours both ashore and afloat, Dave was selected for postgraduate study at the University of Kansas. He received a MS in Petroleum Management in 1973. His graduation was followed by a series of tours in his speciality, managing bulk petroleum terminals for both the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency. He retired in 1985 in Norfolk, VA as a Commander.

After working for a couple of defense contractors, Dave and his family moved to Singapore where he worked in the petroleum business. In 1991, Dave accepted a job in San Antonio with Computers Made Simple, a locally owned computer training company. In 1996, he accepted a position with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), his current employer. Dave and his wife Fran have been married for 40 years, have two sons (one deceased) and one grandson. Dave is also involved with Rotary International (past president), served as trustee to the Cibolo Creek Community Church in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas and serves on several committees for the Fair Oaks Ranch Golf and Country Club.

Other Chapter Leaders

Representative-At-Large | Ted Kuhlmeier, ’74

Born in Bandung, Indonesia, where he received the Last Rites as an infant, Ted was raised in Iowa before attending the Academy. After graduating (barely), he chose the Marines and in his 11 years saw Denmark, Germany, Norway, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and islands in the Caribbean.

After leaving the Corps, Ted joined the FBI and served 22 years as a Special Agent working in South Carolina, Manhattan, Connecticut, and San Antonio. Famous cases he worked on, as a grunt Agent, include Atlanta Prison Riot,

First WTC, TWA 800,9-11, and Amerithrax. His Bureau history also includes less well known cases of bank robbery, kidnapping, public corruption, environmental crimes, foreign counterintelligence, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.

Ted and his bride, Pat, were married 45+ years ago, 3 days after graduation, in the Academy chapel. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren

Representative-At-Large I Wilfred Robert Morris, Jr. ’82

Wilfred Robert Morris, Jr. was born in Trenton, NJ when his father was serving his 2 year hitch with the United States Army at Fort Dix. 7 months later, his parents returned to Balboa Canal Zone as a Civil Servant working for the Panama Canal Company.

Will graduated from Balboa HS on the Pacific side in 1978 and was the last appointee to the Naval Academy from the CZ Governor, the honorable Harold Parfitt. He was graduated with the class of 1982 with a degree in Political Science.

SWOS school in Newport, RI was followed by a tour aboard USS Meyerkord (FF-1058) homeported out of San Diego, CA. While aboard the ‘Kord, he served as the Gunnery Officer and A&E officer. He received his Surface Warfare Pin as an Ensign during his first Westpac with USS New Jersey SAG in 1983.

His next tour was with Amphibious Squardron One aboard USS Tarawa (LHA-1). He served as N41, N32, N31 and N3. He deployed on a WESPAC in 1986 with 13th MAU. Following back to back sea tours, he reported to his last active duty station with Fleet Training Group at the ASW base. He detached active service in September 1989, and retired from Naval Reserves in 2006 as a LCDR.

Will married former Navy nurse Barbara Voss in October 1988 and they have two children Robbie 17, and Alexandra 15. They have moved from CA to AZ, to Fort Worth, to VA and now here in Helotes, but still consider CA their home.

Will became a financial Planner with First Command Finacial Planning in October of 1989 and has served as an advisor, district advisor and the Director of Training for the Home Office. He just finished his designation and certification as a CFP.

Representative-At-Large I Bill Penn ’63

Bill is a retired USNR Captain and a retired lawyer.  On active duty, he served in nuclear submarines, at the Pentagon, and at headquarters/command posts in Norfolk, Europe, Japan, and Korea. As a lawyer, he represented industrial construction projects in North America, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Bill has lived in nineteen states and six foreign countries and, since August 2008, lives with wife, Linda Marie, and Yorkshire pup, Ferguson, in San Antonio. Bill has no children to speak of. Bill is a member of the California Bars and is registered as a Professional Engineer (Nuclear) in California.

Representative-At-Large I Laura Koerner ’97

Laura is a wife, mom of twins, engineer, and program manager. Originally from Bloomingdale, IL (outside Chicago), she attended the US Naval Academy (Class of 1997) earning a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy. After graduation, she attended the Massachusetts institute of Technology, earning a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. Laura served 6 1/2 years active duty in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare (Nuclear) Officer. During her naval career, she served onboard USS MAHAN (DDG 72) as the Tomahawk Strike Officer and Gunnery/Ordnance Officer, completed Naval Nuclear Power School, and served onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), as the Assistant Damage Control Assistant and Nuclear Propulsion Plant Watch Officer.

After her naval career, she was the Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs Manager at Stryker Communications in Poway CA and a systems engineering/IT program management consultant for over 15 years with Booz Allen Hamilton, L-3 Communications, and Engility. Her primary client was the United States Navy (SPAWAR), but she also managed software development and projects for several US and international government and law enforcement agencies, and IT and financial institutions. Currently, she is a Risk Strategy & Planning Program/Project Management Lead at USAA in San Antonio.

Laura and her husband, Mike, moved to Texas in 2010 after his retirement from the Navy. In May 2017, Laura was elected Councilwoman, Place 4 for the city of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, where she serves as an at-large representative for all city residents. In June 2018, Governor Abbott appointed her to serve as a Commissioner on the Texas Veterans Commission, where she advocates for TX veterans and their earned benefits. Laura also enjoys being an active member, volunteering, and serving on the boards for many military-related groups and government and political organizations, elected officials, and candidates. In addition, she is a Blue and Gold Officer for the United States Naval Academy, where she counsels, recruits, and interviews local candidates on behalf of the Admissions Department.

Laura takes pleasure in running, cycling, swimming, and cheering for her daughters in their many youth sports. She has been a competitive runner and triathlete and was certified as an USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach in 2009 at the Olympic Training Center. She lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX with her husband, Mike, a local firefighter and former Senate/Congressional staffer, twin daughters, Alexandra and Eva, and her mother, Sharon.