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Military Service - Elizabeth Lee Gleisberg May

Class of 1978

Air Force (1985 - 2001)

Retired Major


Major May graduated from Surrattsville High School in Clinton, MD, in 1978 and the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology in 1984.  She earned her Master of Aeronautical Science Degree with dual specialization in Operations and Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1993. She earned her commission through 4-year ROTC and entered active duty Jul 1, 1985.  After completing Administrative Officer School she became the Operations Management Officer of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC.  While at Shaw AFB she earned Outstanding Administrator of the Year for the base and for Tactical Air Command.  Major May was then assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, as the Operations Management Officer. 

In fall 1988, Major May was selected for regular commission.  While at Kadena Air Base, Major May devoted most of her free time to building a summer camp for special needs children.  In 1989, she won Kadena Air Base Military Volunteer of the Year and in 1990 she was recognized in Airman Magazine as an �unsung hero�.  Major May also flew local area Search and Rescue training flights for the Strategic Air Command at Kadena and served as the president of the Intraservice Skydiving Club.   Before being reassigned, Major May served as 18th Tactical Fighter Wing Emergency Actions Officer and Chief, Wing Contingency Plans Branch. 

In July 1990, she reported to the 4th Air Base Operability Squadron (4ABOS), Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, as the Base Disaster Preparedness Officer (DPO).  While assigned to the 4 ABOS, she also served as the Operations Officer and base coordinator for the National Emergency Airborne Command Post.  After realignment, Major May�s   position fell under the  4th   Civil  Engineer  Squadron.  She served as the DPO until March 1993 and then volunteered to serve as Environmental Programs Manager.  She specialized as Chief, Natural and Cultural Resources and Environmental Impact Analysis Program Manager.  Major May also served on the Eastern Regional Company Grade Officer Council Executive Committee while at Seymour Johnson AFB.  As the Regional Philanthropist, she developed an Air Force wide program for youth development that resulted in 3,000 hours of volunteer time in support of youth.  Major May attended Disaster Preparedness and Squadron Officer School while at Seymour Johnson AFB.  Additionally, Major May was selected as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies (APAS) at the University of Florida.  While in the position of APAS, she was awarded the title �Associate Professor� by the university and served as the AS 100 Instructor, Executive Officer, Education Officer and AFROTC Civil Air Patrol Squadron Commander.

After 18 months at the detachment level, Major May was selected for Chief of Field Training, Headquarters AFROTC at Maxwell AFB.  She was selected to serve in a newly created position of Operations Officer to the ROTC Commander building new programs and was then assigned as Director of Training where she served the remainder of her ROTC tour.  As ROTC Director of Training, she managed over $10M and programs for over 12,000 cadets at 143 universities.  Major May also completed Air Command and Staff College through independent study. 

In March 1999, Major May assumed command of 325FW, Det 1, in Pensacola (a �Navy town�) where she was the regional leader in promoting aerospace power.  Her unit served 1,100 active duty members assigned to 13 units across three bases.  While assigned, she developed many new programs one of which recaptured over 25,000 man-hours for the USAF in less than a year.  The new program resolved the long standing problem of lengthy delays between graduation of navigators and their assignment to operational units.  Major May was also the area�s leader in hosting senior leadership to the local area promoting esprit de corps and dissemination of the latest Air Force policy and information to active duty AF in Pensacola.  Major May was elected President of Air Force Association Chapter 330 while stationed in Pensacola and earned the Medal of Merit for her contributions.

In September 2000, Major May was assigned as Chief, Resources, Plans and Future Systems, HQ USAF at the Pentagon.  Her primary accomplishments there include implementation of an AF wide performance measurement system with which she briefed the Secretary of the USAF and his senior staff and a program to redesign the five year budget process. While assigned to the Pentagon, she implemented the first Pentagon assigned Company Grade Officer Corps as well as became active in assisting the homeless in DC.

 In August 2001 Major May retired from active duty service and relocated to the Space Coast, Florida!  She then entered industry when she accepted a position with the Research Triangle Institute�s Center for Aerospace Technology in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  As a Research Aerospace Analyst she was responsible for formulating Federal Aviation Administration Regulations for the emerging commercial space Reusable Launch Vehicle industry (2nd Generation Shuttles of which about 15 different models are under design).  Major May plans to remain on the �Space Coast� � her �final frontier� as she says.  In 2005 she started her own investment corporation and has been very successful.

Her military awards and decorations include two Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals, one National Defense Service Medal, three Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbons, two Longevity ribbons, one Overseas Long Tour ribbon, and one Training ribbon.  

She is a private pilot with 350 flying hours and a master rated skydiver with over 2000 jumps.  Her ten person skydiving team placed 3rd in the nation in 2003. Major May is a shareholder in the 1995 and 2005 Women�s World Record Formation Skydive with the latter resulting in a 151 woman formation. She is also trained in firefighting tactics, a certified scuba diver, and an experienced motorcycle rider.  She is married to James Pringle of Merritt Island and they are the proud parents of their 16-year-old daughter, Ashley.