Archive for October, 2010

Resume for W.D.S. II




Air National Guard                               167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, WV 

Civil Engineering & Personnel Apprentice

§    Basic Military Training Course LMABM9T000 6 weeks, Winter 2006

§    Engineering Apprentice Course 00RA PDS-ILI 430 hours 2006

§    Operational Air Force Course 00AA PDS-ILJ 144 hours 2006

§    Personnel Apprentice Course PDS-IF2 208 hours 2008

2004-2005 Shepherd University                                                  Shepherdstown, WV 

Adjunct Faculty – Professor

*     American Architectural Heritage 370, Fall 2004

*     Environmental Architecture 399, Spring 2005

*     American Decorative Arts, 327,  Spring 2005

2000-present Stowell Galleries & Stowell Architects; Harpers Ferry, WV 

Master Architect, Chief Curator, & Deputy Director

*     Client Designs – OF Lodge, Coffee Mill; Laurel Lodge, etc

*     House Documents & Renovations – photos, records, finishes, etc

*     Property Landscape &  Maintenance – flora, fauna, herbs, grounds, etc

*     Porches & Additions – project proposals, cleaning, preparations, etc

*     design & construction – Catanese Carriage House Bed & Breakfast

1993-2002 summers Historic American Building Survey / Engineering Record (HABS / HAER) 

Foreman / Supervisor – draftsman technician

*     architectural – Kenworthy Hall, AL;  Harpers Ferry Train Station, WV

*     structural documentation  –  Potomac Power Plant, WV

*     roads, bridges & landscape documentation – Yosemite NP, CA

*     roads & bridges – Taconic State Parkway, NY;  Crater Lake NP, OR

2000-2004 Practical Environmental Work 

*     Organic Farming – Erdhart’s Farm in  Frederick County, MD

*     Landscape Design – residence        Fairfax, VA

*     Landscaping – residence        Vienna, VA

*     Organic Gardening – Claymont;  Bower Farm in  Jefferson Co, WV


Master of Architecture   (M.A.)  

1997-2000   Savannah College of Art and Design  Savannah, GA

S.C.O.D. Thesis, GPA 3.8

2005-2008  ANG United States Air Force Senior Airman E-4

Civil Engineering & Personnel  Ft. Leonard Wood, MO

1994-1996  Roger Williams University Architecture School   Bristol, RI

Historic Preservation, History of Architecture, Design & Theory

2007-2008  IOOF Vice Noble Grand Harpers Ferry, WV


2006-2007  Missouri Veteran’s Home

Ft. Leonard Wood, MO

2005 –  Historic Landmarks Commission

Harpers Ferry, WV

2004 –  IOOF community breakfasts

Harpers Ferry, WV

2003 –  JCCCG environmental activism

Jefferson Co, WV

2000-2002  Local Landscape Architecture;

Harpers Ferry, WV

1996-2000  Local History & Drawings;

Harpers Ferry, WV

1994-1995 summers, – HABS, NPS; Harpers Ferry, WV

1993 — Documented John Hay Estate;

Sunapee, NH

Air National Guard (ANG) Martinsburg, WV 

American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Jefferson County Citizens for Considerate Growth (JCCCG)

National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA)

Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF)

Essay Contest Winner: Residency at Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water”, Henderson Scholarship, IOOF Scholarship, 10 Art Awards, Drama Award, Scholar-Athlete Soccer Award, National Honor Society scholarship winner, Principal’s Award: St. Johns most exemplified model student, White Rope Certificate for Military Chaplain’s Assistant, Ft. Leonard Wood, Military Certificates including Base & NATO Secret Security Clearance
Architectural History, History, Reenactment, Social Studies, Film, Video, Alternative Energy, Urban Planning, Green Design, Horticulture, Arts, Literature, Illustration, Writing, and other Liberal Arts
P.R. :  po box 603 • harpers ferry, wv 25425 •

Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT)

Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas

A1C Stowell’s Official Summary of BMT

January 17 – March 3, 2006

Co:  ANG Martinsburg, WV Base Officers


I. Zero Week

Out-processing from Martinsburg took most of the morning of January 17th, 2006.  To avoid travel delays, the 167th Airlift Wing asked me to have my driver accompany me all day until they eventually deliver me to the airport.  Therefore my father was with me that day, and it was an honor since he was both in the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard in the 1960’s.  So from 6am until later that afternoon, my departure was prepared, culminating with my arrival at Dulles International Airport.  From Dulles I departed for Dallas Texas.  Several young recruits joined me from MEPS on the next flight to San Antonio.  At San Antonio we signed in at the Military Reception Area with a huge Sergeant, and were seated on the hall floor in silent formation.  Once our numbers were accounted for, we were driven in the dark on a bus to the In-Processing Center at Lackland Air Force Base.

I felt well prepared by my recruiter.  I had been advised to wear simple blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt and have my hair of medium length to avoid showing as many individual vulnerabilities as possible.  Also I had a hand-carried package containing my files, labeled ‘37th Training Wing, 737 Training Group’.  We were deposited under the concrete canopy of the ‘new-arrivals’ building, segregated by sex, and required to sit in seats which were so closely fit together that you had to side-step through them. We were required to say “Proceeding!” and get from our seat in the room, all the way to the front as soon as possible.  This minor arrival event was to foreshadow the remainder of my stay at BMT, and to a lesser degree my 4 month Tech-School Training afterwards.

“Hurry-up!”  “Listen-up!” They shouted, and after a few hours of waiting, frozen meals, and a game of non-musical chairs we were bused to our Squadron dorms, where we would live for the next 6 ½ weeks.  I was assigned to the 326 “Bulldogs” Training Squadron.  The multi-level barracks were elevated on pilotee, which provided a canopy for the drill pads around the buildings.  We stood in formation as a drill sergeant, or ‘Training Instructor (TI)’, briefed us on ‘Honor Flight’, and then were herded inside and up the stairs, where we were given an ‘Immediate Incoming Briefing’ about Lackland standards.

“Sir, Trainee So-and-so reports as ordered, Sir.”

“This is not the Marines, we do NOT do ‘Sir’ sandwiches here.”

“Sir, Trainee So-and-so reporting as ordered.”

“What are you reporting, the weather?  Cup your damn meathooks (hands). I guess no one taught you facing movements!  Give me a 341.”

It helps to know when to volunteer for things and when not to.  Knowing what your options are ahead of time helps.  My daily duties were Pad Crew, Laundry Crew, and Road Guard.  I shared these duties with 4 others until the end of Basic Training contentedly; however my first 24 hours were not over.

My stay at Lackland Boot Camp had just begun.  From here on every minute of my stay there became slowly burned into my mind.  We were told to stand by our beds, bags, and lockers at-ease, while TI’s came by and tried to rip our egos apart, by challenging our connection to our physical belongings.  This was when I had the honor of meeting TSgt Weimer.  I noticed that when he looked at my neighbors belongings, he said nothing about him having a Star Wars novel, so I found it amusing when he came over to me and holding my Star Wars checkbook said, “Are you a Star Wars geek?” I snapped to attention and snickered.  “You think something’s funny?!” Weimer shouted.  “Sir, Trainee Stowell reports as ordered.  Sir I did not mean to offend you.”  “Well, I feel disrespected and if you disrespect me, I’ll disrespect you.” He said and flipped over my bed dumping all my personal security drawer items all over the floor, breaking some of them.  I was bemused by the show, and simply stared at him, maintaining eye-contact as he walked to the next person.

I went to bed that night as 326 Bulldog G1, the only guardsman or reservist out of 48 in Flight 213 Dorm B1.  Bed 32.  The next morning at 3:00am we awoke to Reveille playing over the loudspeaker and TSgt Martinez banging a trashcan and yelling “Get ‘em up! Get ‘em up! Get ‘em up!  Get the Hell out of my center isle, this is my house!  Don’t sit on your frickin beds, beds are for sleeping.  You don’t need to sit to put on your clothes, stand up!” As we fell-out for morning formation, TSgt Weimer grabbed the keys around my neck and pulled saying “I’m gonna choke you with this chain if you don’t tuck it in.” So we filed down the stairs as quickly as possible, and fell in formation on the drill pad in the position of attention.

The TI’s took accountability and the chief TI would say “From my left to my right, REEEEEPORT!” Our Sgt of the morning would say “Flight 213 all present and accounted for, Siiiiiiiir!” Followed by the announcement “All trainees will drink 3 non-carbonated non-caffinated beverages with each and every meal not to include chocolate milk.  While on Dorm Guard duty, you will not memorize visual aid 26-30, you will trace it with your hot little finger, reading it word for word.  In the stairwell you will utilize the hand rail, and each and every step.  Now on the count of 3 we will sing the Air Force song loud, proud with plenty of pride and motivation.”

“Off we go, into the wild blue yonder; flying high into the sun.

Here they come zooming to meet our thunder; at-a-boys give’er the gun.

Down we dive spouting our flames from under of with one hell of a roar.

We live in fame, or go down in flames; HEY nothing can stop the US AirForce!  Air power, Space power, A.E.F.”

(I sang this every morning for 6 months)

We were given ‘Memory Work’ which was a list of names and ranks we had to memorize.  When we were waiting in formation for meals we would be told, “Get out your memory work, and study.” For 7 weeks no head nodding allowed, smiling, and deprived of a good nights sleep.  Web Belts were worn with canteens almost always.

For Physical Readiness Training (PRT), we were told our standards were recently doubled to compete with Marine requirements (from apx. 60 sit-ups and 60 push-ups in 2 minutes each, to 60 in 1 minute each).  We had to make our 1 ½ mile run under 12 minutes.  Females had easier times and numbers.

Meals were good, but we never had time to eat them.  Belly-to-canteen waiting in line, tray-to-tray constant harassment and threat of punishment kept us staring straight ahead and not talking.  Once we had food and our 3 drink glasses on our tray we had to pass by the Snake Pit.  The TI’s sat at this table and would call trainees randomly “Hey, get over here!” One of our trainees got recycled by failing to answer questions properly on a day that Lt. Col. Erickson was present.  Often the answer to their question was often their own name; for instance SnrMSgt Garvin would ask “Who is your training superintendent?” and the answer was himself.  Only if you were confident with your memory work underpressure could you answer this type of question properly, and on a bad day…you could get instantly recycled.

Our chow runner had the worst job, they had to stand there and direct us to be seated.  You stand at your table until the last trainee arrives and then they say “Trainees be seated.” And you put your portfolio and webbelt under your chair and coat on the back of the chair, then eat like a pig turning each glass over as you drink it.  Table manners were: no talking, no looking around, no elbows on the table, and shove food in your mouth as rapidly as possible while Sgts threaten you and slam their fists on the table yelling “You have neighbors, you’re done!  Finish chewing then get out!”

‘Dust downs’ were done in the morning and evening, and on special occasions they played us heavy-metal like Seven Dust and White Zombie while we dusted.

Being “smoked” by a sergeant basically means their training method is ridiculously hard or embarrassing.  They will constantly remind you however that hazing, threatening, and throwing mail is not authorized by the UCMJ and for the record does not take place at Basic Training.  Also the TI’s are not supposed to use real swear words, so they creatively used their own and they knew how to make any word sound like an insult with the proper cadence, volume, and tone.

“Good job dumb-dumbs!” “What the piss, nuts?!”  “You ass-clown!”

TSgts Weimer and Cockerill had a tag-team tactic of standing so that you had to brush by them as you passed in line so Cockerill could say “Hey Hot-Rod, why don’t you watch where your going stud!” in a thick drawn-out southern accent.  Pregnant Blue-Rope SSgt Reed had a very thick accent. “You’re all a bunch of retards. You think your smart, but your really not so bright.  You’re stupid.  I’m gonna hook you up.”

II. During the Three weeks following Zero Week …

We got our BDU and PT uniforms from supply, and carried them back to barracks in our duffel bags.  We had a Force Protection Condition drill (FPCON Delta) that sounded real if it hadn’t started with “Exercise, exercise, exercise!” We heard sirens and were told there had just been a terrorist attack on base.  It freaked us out and we prepared for an evacuation that never came.  I was able to keep this journal with my religious notes by writing backwards and upsidedown in runes.  TI’s constantly insulted us with harshly annoying, ridiculous name calling and put-downs which created as hellish a mental war-time environment as possible.  The Sergeants flirted with the line between hard and crazy non-stop, trying to break us down so they could build us back up their own way, in theory.

Red Line Inspections monitored our locker clothes hanging, folding, and rolling methods.  AFI36-2903

Classes and Tests were held in classrooms by a series of humane sergeants who usually entertained questions.  This was much closer to a real learning environment.  But like in techschool afterwards, the lessons are so crammed you don’t have time to get in a much needed nap or discuss much.

Recycled – “You confuse me, you don’t impress me! I give you a week.”

We received 3 recycled trainees into our flight by the end, 2 of which were reassigned by the end and graduated sooner.  They used this as a very real means of punishment.  Of all things, I was fearful of being recycled.  They use small paper slips called 341’s to keep record of your discipline.  341’s are a mandatory item, and you must have them on you at all times filled out and ready to be given whenever sergeants ask for them.  There were 2x that I felt like I was really going to be recycled, but it never happened to me.

The First Sunday I went to Liturgical Service and sketched the architecture.  Later I went with a 6th weeker to the Wiccan service.  We did Tai Chi one Sunday and I gave Martial Arts presentations there and whenever my flight asked me.  Sometimes a Sgt even requested a demonstration.

Each week we would be sent off in smaller detail groups to help Clothing Issue, Supply, or Communications.  Each place would reward us by allowing us to buy snacks and soda that we were not allowed to have unless on a patio break (which some flights never got).

TSgt Weimer found that a Trainee had been writing a letter to his wife and new baby.  Weimer was so pissed that together with other TI’s they smoked him until he cried and said he wanted to quit BMT.  The TI’s said they were going to have him arrested for refusing to train, and took him away.  He was brought back to us later as though nothing had happened.

Dorm Guard: Regular 2 hour shifts.  At night 2 guards.

“Dorm Guard, Dorm B1 may I help you?” “Accountability.” “The accountability is as follows: 43 assigned, 43 present, Temp 75.”

“Give me the numbers.  Just the numbers!” = “43, 43, 75”

Warrior Week Schedule (hourly tent guard at night):

Monday NBC Gas Chamber MOP gear suits

Tuesday firing range 1 MRE = apx 1,250 calories; 3 daily = apx 3,000 calories

Wednesday Confidence Course

Thursday Scorpion Base Camp (FTX War Zone Conditioning)

Friday UXO WarZone, IED Code RED MOPP 4, SALUTE reports

Anti-terrorism Lvl 1 Class, Force Protection Conditions AM73-76

“Determine Threat Level, starts political, motivates Religiously.”

“Dorm chief’s!  Get down and push / flutter kicks!”

5th Week: 2nd Issue clothing “Duffel Bag Blues”

Airman Coin Ceremony – close to graduation

Passed my final PT Evaluations / Tug of War Champions / Spirit Run

6th Week: Airman’s Run / Graduation / Spending time with family.

By the end of BMT we had over 7 drill sergeants and 7 Class Instructors, which I heard is more than usual.

My personal experience was worse than others perhaps, but I have not included my worst experiences here for personal reasons. There were countless times I was personally insulted by sergeants for my height, and differences. I was mocked by TI’s for my flexibility while stretching, and they never acknowledged or utilized my martial arts training, or any other previous training for that matter. TI’s called me “Mini-me” and “Umpalupma” while marching. Sometimes I thought they would hold me back and I would not get my bonus check, as they threatened to do that constantly.

I never did receive any aircraft education or aviation training during Boot Camp, or my 4 month Tech School afterwards; even though I am an operational member of the US Air Force.  I did not expect the experience to be so demoralizing, humiliating, or unfriendly as the official commercials indicate that the TI’s are there “only to help”. I did not find their attitude friendly or helpful, perhaps because I was older and more experienced than the average recruit. There is no question my treatment was equal to others in my squadron. I am glad the experience is over as it was very intensive; and am glad to have been paid well upon timely completion.  TSgt Weimer surprised me in the end when he gave me a positive review.  So I ended up writing a positive letter of recommendation for him in return.

My fellow flight members told me “You are the same person as when we came here. BMT didn’t really change you.” That was one of the nicest things I heard during BMT. It was then that I realized although my spirit had been broken, my soul was alive and could heal my spirit in time.

My favorite part of BMT besides leaving, was the hilarious moments, and the jodies or cadences:

O Lord I wanna go, but they wont let me go!

They say that in the Airforce, the women are mighty fine;

They look like Cindy Crawford, and walk like Frankenstein.

They say that in the Airforce, the Coffee is mighty fine;

It looks like muddy water, and smells like turpentine….


Everywhere we go-O, People wanna know-O;

Who we are-R, sooo we tell them….


Hey hey, Captain Jack, meet me by the railroad track,

Put a rifle in my hand, im gonna be a shootin man…

[ This was written in 2006 from my unauthorized secret diary that I kept at BMT, despite searches and a very busy schedule. TI’s found the diary in my notebook once, but because it was written in code under “Religious Notes” they did not destroy it. I wrote this and an extended personal version upon my return from training, and submitted it to my home base squadron officers. This is an honest account of my experiences without dwelling on emotions, social dynamics, or ethics. ]

* Purchase the more complete uncensored version “BDU: Unofficial BMT Journal” on

** Purchase the Kindle ebook follow-up to this story: Ten Conscientious Objections to War