Stories of Honor: Kevin Inabnit earned three Air Medals as Navy jet pilot

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.

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