Air Force artisan: Senior Airman Richard Dye

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This will be an ongoing series highlighting the diverse talents and artistic passions of Vandenberg Airmen.

An ardent musician, Senior Airman Richard Dye, 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance journeyman, has built a sanctuary where he can leave behind thoughts of radiators and brake lines while pursuing a dream that has been alive in him since he listened to his first Green Day album and picked up a guitar in high school. While not the most grandiose of studios, it is enough for Dye to create punk-inspired ballads and share them with the world via social media.

"When I am in my studio playing music it's like I am a completely different person," said Dye. "I can go there and do something that I have always enjoyed since I was a kid. Everything outside the door to my studio doesn't matter. It is my own little sanctuary, and after a full day of being someone else I can be myself."

Surrounded by a collection of guitars, a drum set, and numerous components for recording, Dye works amidst a veritable monument to music, and even when the reverberations of the electric guitar strings are ceased and the cymbals are silent; his mind continues to seed new ideas.

"Much of the time when I write music it just comes to me," said Dye. "I might come up with a melody at work and I will keep humming it. When I get home I will sit down in my studio and try to pick it out on my guitar."

Dye's creativity doesn't stop at music however, and when not playing music in his studio he is working on other projects; his latest project involves creating music videos and other media to go with his music and sharing it on his website. 

"I am trying to build upon my music and I recently started a Facebook project called 'Roach the Human'," said Dye. "It started out as a website where I was basically dumping my music, but then I decided I wanted to create a series of video projects with the music. Now I am doing movie reviews, game reviews, music videos and some comedy routines. It is all centralized around the music that I am producing."

The creativity he exhibits may manifest primarily in his music but his lateral thinking often proves beneficial in the workplace.

"He thinks outside the normal box," said Staff Sgt. Miles Paulson 30th LRS assistant NCOIC of multipurpose maintenance. "Some of the ideas he comes up with are a little too crazy but he definitely comes up with ideas that make us rethink how we do things, most of the time his ideas work out great and save us time and money. His creativity is not just music, it is just his personality."

Always looking for new ways to do things, Dye continues to set an example of creative problem solving for younger Airmen to follow.

"He is one of our most senior, Senior Airman, and a lot of the other Airmen look up to him," said Paulson. "The fact that he is so creative and he can look outside the box gives Airmen another way to look at things and guides them as they progress through the ranks." 

The creative process is more challenging when working alone, but Dye takes it one chord at a time.

"It's a learning process definitely," said Dye. "Sometimes I will sit there and I will have a song and it's in my head and I will try to put it on the computer and it just won't sound right. I have no one to question my creative process, which I think is really important for anyone who wants to do something creative. You can make something, but nothing guarantees that people are going to see it the same way you will."