Check out the following about this year’s Grand Marshal, Bruce Dixon. Bruce grew up moving around the country multiple times and overseas as an Army dependent until his family settled down in Bessemer City, North Carolina. He spent his youth playing sports and graduated from Bessemer City High School in 1983. Bruce did not immediately join the military after high school, but after college and working at a large corporation did not work out, he decided to join the Air Force.
Bruce originally went to the recruiting office with the thought of being an air traffic controller, but once he learned about Combat Control, he knew that was the job for him.
Bruce entered the Air Force in March of 1986, and after accomplishing the Combat Control pipeline, he started his first duty at the 1721st Combat Control
Squadron, Pope AFB, North Carolina. After his first assignment, Bruce served at other locations, including the Philippines, Japan, Texas, Germany, and Florida.
During his over 30-year career, Bruce served as a Combat Controller and held various Air Force and Special Operations leadership positions. He also participated in 15 combat deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas around the globe. During the earliest stages of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Bruce led the initial combat jump operation that propelled America’s ground war in the Global War on Terrorism. Bruce retired from the Air Force as the Command Chief for the 24th Special Operations Wing.
Bruce graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia Southern University with a B.S. in Business Administration/Human Resource Management. He currently works as a federal civilian employee serving as the Director of Training at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida. At the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Bruce ensures the instructors and staff have all of the required resources to train and graduate combat-ready Special Warfare Operators.
Bruce is married to Lori Wood from Dallas, North Carolina, and they have three children, Seth, Cody, and Sam.