Thomas Charles Brandt (12)
Major General Thomas C. Brandt,  USAF (Ret.), 82, of Lake Gaston, Littleton, NC, passed away on 22 December 2015 at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, of multiple causes after a five-year period of rapidly declining health. “Tom” was born in Harrisburg, PA, and after a year at the University of Pennsylvania, he entered the Naval Academy in July 1952. Upon graduation, Tom was commissioned in the Air Force. His first assignment was as a base civil engineer at Wurtsmith AFB, MI. After receiving a master's degree in electrical engineering (1960), his career took a new path to the space and missiles technology and operations areas with initial assignment to the AF Missile Test Center at Vandenberg AFB, CA. Here, he brilliantly served in strategic missile testing and evaluation, rising to launch director for Minuteman testing and his first deep selection, to major, a harbinger of his future AF career. Next, was the Air Force Academy, where he rose in five years from assistant to associate professor to executive officer in the Department of Astronautics, followed by a tour at Ton Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam on the civil engineering staff of 7th Air Force. Many assignments in North American Aerospace Defense Command followed, such as director of space and missile warning operations and later assistant chief of staff for combat operations at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado. His next major assignment was as the director of the joint planning staff for space of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the principal planner for creating the U.S. Space Command. He finished his 33-year career as the Chief of Staff at Headquarters AF Systems Command, Andrews AFB, MD. For the next 20 years, he was associate director of the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh and later in Arlington, VA. Upon retirement, he moved to his cherished retirement home on Lake Gaston, where he could pursue his favorite pastimes of birding and fishing. Tom leaves behind his wife of 38 years, Claudette; their daughter Andréa; two daughters, Mary Rose Garban and Cat Zaccardi and a son Christopher Brandt from an earlier marriage. He was predeceased by his son, Thomas Charles Brandt Jr. A Funeral Mass of Resurrection was held on 16 January 2016 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Ebony, VA, with graveside interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.