CURT SYNNESS For the Independent Record
When Kevin Inabnit, U.S. naval commander (retired), was in the third grade at Jim Darcy Elementary School, he made a goal to become a naval aviator.
“My dad, Ken Inabnit (who flew in three wars), was my biggest inspiration for serving,” Kevin texted from his home in Bozeman. “He was a full-time Army Guard helicopter pilot and I wanted to be just like him as a young boy growing up.”
As he got a little older, and maybe with some incentive from his favorite movie “Top Gun,” the younger Inabnit knew he “wanted to be a Navy pilot vice a helicopter pilot.”
“There were many hurdles along the way, but I stuck with it, and somehow (everything) worked out,” Inabnit, 44, related.
In fact it worked out so well that he served a total of 20 years in the military (16 active duty), accumulating 3200 flight hours as a jet pilot in the F-18 E/F/G Hornet/Growler and the EA-6B Prowler, benchmarked by three Air Medals.
Inabnit graduated from Capital High in 1996, where he played football for the Bruins, and was a special teams player as a sophomore on the 1993 state championship team.