How A Military Forward Air Controller Built One Of America's Best Companies

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You don't become a billionaire and titan of industry by going with the flow. Those who dream big often have to do it alone. It's not that the world is against them, it's the fact that their visions are so grand the world can't wrap its collective head around what they're doing until it's accomplished.


Take the founder of FedEx.

Frederick W. Smith, president of Federal Express, in a photo from September 25, 1976. (Commercial Appeal files)FedEx

Fred Smith is the founder and CEO of FedEx. Smith's first foray into what would become FedEx, air to ground transport, was as an undergrad at Yale. He wrote an underwhelmingly received paper on overnight parcel delivery in the computer age, an out-of-the-blue concept at the time.

After his graduation in 1966, he commissioned in the United States Marine Corps and served two tours in Vietnam, one as an infantry officer and one as a forward air controller. It was in Vietnam that he personally witnessed the power of the military's logistics operations -- utilizing air to transport personnel and equipment on a massive scale. And when he left Vietnam, he took these lessons with him.

Frederick W Smith in the MarinesDept. Of Defense

In 1970, a year after his honorable discharge, including a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Heart medals, Smith purchased the controlling interest in Ark Aviation Sales and a year later had founded Federal Express, which started service to 25 cities with a small fleet of jets.

As of 2017, FedEx has an annual revenue of $60 billion dollars. It was the company that introduced the world to overnight delivery, and Fred Smith was the one who made it happen.

Frederick W Smith founder of FedExFedEx

Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) Sailors participate in a memorial for the shipÕs namesake, Robert D. Stethem. Navy diver, Steelworker 2nd Class Robert Stethem, who was returning from an assignment in the Middle East, when he was taken hostage aboard TWA 847 commercial airliner. The flight was hijacked by terrorists, and Stethem was shot to death after being tortured by the terrorists on June 15, 1985. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Danny Ewing Jr.)

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.

A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.

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The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

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SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.

Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.

Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.

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Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.

For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.

On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.

"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

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