Member Focus: Brett Garman (CHS)
Friday, June 14, 2013

Brett Garman and his wife Catherine.

NATCA/FAA career: I served in the Air Force from 1999-2005 as a Controller at Eglin RAPCON, Osan RAPCON and Spangdahlem GCA. After separating, my friend talked me into going to Antarctica with him for a contract controlling job. While there, I got picked up by the FAA and shortly thereafter moved to Charleston, S.C., in a “down/up” combo.  

Born and raised, other places of living: I was born in Maryland, but raised mostly around York, Pa.
Other places include: Williamsport, Pa.; Grenada, West Indies; Elizabeth City, N.C.; Biloxi, Miss.; Destin, Fla.; Bitburg, Germany; Osan, Korea; and McMurdo, Antarctica.  

Education: Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Associates and Bachelors of Science.

Family: Wife Catherine and two dogs (Magnatron and Lucy).

Q: How did you become a NATCA member?

Brett: I joined on initial hiring.

Q: Did you have any family members that were involved in unions?

Brett: No.

Q: How did you get involved, and what are you involved in with NATCA?

Brett: I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of my controller family.
I am the Local VP and a South Carolina Legislative Rep. We have a Facility Rep (Pauli Thomas) who lets us get involved to the extent that we want. His willingness to delegate has made all the difference in the world.

Q: What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?

Brett: I am a bit of an idealist. After some time in the FAA and research on the history of labor unions, I decided the most honorable way for me to protect my brothers and sisters is to sacrifice my time through NATCA. I want to be a part of the legacy that has brought us to the present, and I want to ensure that trajectory continues upward.

Q: What's the most rewarding part of being facility vice president? What's the most challenging?

Brett: Getting to help my CHS brothers and sisters in ways that I couldn't have done otherwise. It is challenging when disagreements between other members occur. Each situation is usually different; therefore, outcomes are hard to predict.

Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?

Brett: I love to learn new things. I sometimes attend classes at the College of Charleston or Charleston Southern when I can. I also participate in Charleston's Reasonable Faith chapter (apologetics group) and play bass guitar for my church. Recently, I started to try and build a website for our facility ( It is a work in progress.

Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?

Brett: So far, NATCA in Washington takes the cake. I knew, but did not truly understand how much NATCA does in D.C. What NATCA does benefits all stakeholders, not just the controllers. It was an honor to be a part of NiW.

Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?

Brett: If you like people and put others above yourself, then just ask your Facility Rep when something comes up. He or she will have a hard time saying no to that kind of person.

Let's go beyond your involvement with NATCA:

My favorite quotes are: “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” (C.S. Lewis)
"Every passing minute is a chance to turn it all around." (Vanilla Sky)

My biggest pet peeve is: Not doing what you say you are going to do.

My father always told me: “Don't eat your boogers.”

Dogs or cats? Dogs.

Best joke you've ever told/heard? Who's still together after all of the crap they've been through? Your butt cheeks!
Or “Yo mama's so ugly they filmed ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ in her shower.”

The best places I've ever travelled to were:  I would say Hawaii and Germany.