Please use this page to donate to the Lt. General Richard J. Trzaskoma Memorial Scholarship at the University of Michigan.
General Trzaskoma, or “Dick” as he was known to friends and family, was born March 13, 1937 in Hamtramck, Michigan. He received a BA in Political Science in 1959 from the University of Michigan and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program. Dick was ambitious, adventurous, and disciplined, and he was the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college.
Upon leaving Michigan, he entered pilot training at Moore AB and Laredo AFB, Texas. His decades-long military career was spent for the most part in airlift and he rose to command a wing at Travis AFB, California, two airlift divisions in Hawaii and Germany and culminated in the command of 22nd Air Force, an organization of 38,000 people who provided more than half the nation's airlift capability. As Chief of Plans and Programs at Headquarters, Military Airlift Command, Scott AFB, Illinois, he was instrumental in the development of the C-17, helping to insure military unity and capability of the aircraft. By the time he retired in 1993, he had more than 7,500 hours of flying time.
His many decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was named an honorary Chief Master Sergeant and elected to the Order of the Sword by the enlisted men and women he led.
Upon retirement, he and his wife settled in Austin, Texas and lived there for 18 years until moving to the Army Residence Community in San Antonio in 2011.
General Trzaskoma was married for 55 years to Sylvia Lozano of San Benito, Texas, always known to him as Mi Vida. They have three children: retired Air Force Major Richard Joseph, Jr. (Stacey) of Tavares, Florida; Theresa Marie (Nicholas Turner) of Brooklyn, New York (University of Michigan 1990); Professor Stephen Michael (Laurel) of Exeter, New Hampshire, and five grandsons: Richard Joseph III, Darren, and Nathan Trzaskoma; and Wiley and Malcolm Turner.
The University of Michigan changed the trajectory of General Trzaskoma’s life and he was an enormously proud alum who could be heard singing Hail to the Victors and shouting “Go Blue” throughout his travels around the world.
With the establishment of this memorial scholarship, General Trzaskoma’s family and friends wish to keep his legacy alive through future generations and hope that it will have a positive impact on students enrolled in the College for years to come. The scholarship will be awarded to low-income, first-generation, in-state students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, with a preference for students in the Air Force ROTC program.