A Greyshirt Who Goes Above and Beyond

Patrick O'Neill

All Greyshirts have a life outside the grey. Bob Bledsoe's happens to be in the cockpit of a Boeing 767 for FedEx.

Air Force veteran Bob Bledsoe has been called a legend by fellow Greyshirts. That’s partly because he’s been serving with Team Rubicon almost as far back as our founding, but mostly because of his leadership.  

“I love mentoring newer Greyshirts, and I learn something new from them every day,” Bob says.  

In 2010, his daughter was working in Haiti when the devastating earthquake struck. While coordinating medevacs, she happened to meet Team Rubicon’s first strike team, led by Jake Wood. Soon after, she became a Greyshirt and her father followed her lead. 

Bob first deployed with Team Rubicon in 2013 after a monstrous tornado carved a destructive path through Moore, Oklahoma. Being originally from the area, he was compelled to serve and said, “it felt personal.” Since then, he’s been on too many operations to name, but the list includes Team Rubicon’s response in The Bahamas for Hurricane Dorian last year, and more recently, COVID-19 efforts.  

Like all Greyshirts, Bob has a life outside the grey. He flies a Boeing 767 for FedEx—which helped Team Rubicon out in The Bahamas after Dorian—and the company has allowed him to fly on a flexible schedule so he has more time to serve with Team Rubicon. 

As a Greyshirt today, Bob serves as the Volunteer Field Ops Lead for Team Rubicon’s “Mighty” Northeast Territory. Before this role, he was the Volunteer State Admin Lead for 3 years and maintains the unofficial title of all-around badass in grey.

Read about three more Greyshirt pilots in Out of the Cockpit and Into the Disaster Zone.

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