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Hill Airman selected to play professional football

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jason Burton
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
From the time he was a child, Second Lt. Chad Hall, 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant officer in charge, has had a dream to be a professional athlete.

That dream was achieved March 11 when he was selected and signed to play professional football as a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles.

"It happened really quickly, to tell you the truth," Lieutenant Hall said. "This has been a very stressful week for me. But I'm also crazy excited and this has been one of the best weeks of my life."

His selection to play for the Eagles started Monday, March 8, when Lieutenant Hall, 23, participated in a Pro Day at the University of Utah. During this event, scouts from different National Football League teams were there to watch the performances of those trying out.

"Overall I thought my workout went very well," said the Atlanta native. "What I wanted to do was let everyone know that, even though it has been two years since I have played competitively, I stayed in shape and I still have that drive to compete."

The Eagles scout liked what he saw in Lieutenant Hall.

The scout called him Monday night and again Tuesday and spoke with Lieutenant Hall's agent. The Eagles then flew Lieutenant Hall to Philadelphia on Wednesday. On Thursday he had a workout and a meeting with the Eagles, and then they signed him.

While the process of getting signed happened rather swiftly, it was the past two years of sacrifice and dedication that got Lieutenant Hall where he is today.

Lieutenant Hall played football while attending the Air Force Academy. Since he graduated in 2008, he has had to work hard to maintain the physical conditioning of a professional athlete.

After a 10 to12 hour shift of working on the flightline overseeing the maintenance of 28 F-16s, he would make the 45-minute drive to the University of Utah to use its football training facilities. He did this five or six times a week.

"For me it was pretty much work, train, sleep," he said. "I gave up on my social life a little bit."

His hard work received a lot of attention by his co-workers.

"Lieutenant Hall informed me of his goals of joining the NFL the day I met him," said Chief Master Sgt. Carl Juntunen, 421 AMU superintendent. "So when we found out he was selected I was not surprised."

Chief Juntunen added that Lieutenant Hall's intense training schedule never conflicted with his duties as a maintenance officer.

"His training for football had no impact on his day-to-day duties. He is a very knowledgeable up and coming officer in the Air Force," said Chief Juntunen. "I think his intense workout regime and his work ethic worked together to make him a great maintenance officer. We are all happy for him and we hope he does well."

Lieutenant Hall said that none of this would have been possible without the support of his family, friends, senior leaders, co-workers and fellow Airmen.

While he has gone this far achieving his dream, Lieutenant Hall still has one last hurdle to clear. He is currently in the process of requesting to go from active duty into the Air Force Reserve.

"I've always wanted to serve," he said. "I think sometimes some people take all the freedoms we have for granted, and I think everyone should serve their country in some way. If the Air Force allows me I will be able to serve in the Reserve and play in the NFL as well. ...Those are my two dreams come true."