Rehearsing for Doomsday

Memoir of a Nuclear Missile Crew Commander


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About the Book

In 1988, Scott Cook was a boarding school PE teacher responsible for the proper inflation of dodge balls. A year later, he was operating an underground strategic missile control center with 10 intercontinental nuclear weapons capable of obliterating an entire country. This unexpected journey took him from the serene hills of Virginia through months of intensive training on the California coast to the front lines of the Cold War, beneath the frozen plains of North Dakota. His frank, entertaining memoir describes the insular and secretive military subculture of men and women who lived with the sobering burden of potentially unleashing global devastation, and how an easy-going gym coach ended up in an organization whose unofficial motto was “To err is human; to forgive is not Strategic Air Command policy.”

About the Author(s)

Scott Cook is a former boarding school teacher and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. He lives in Melbourne, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Cook

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 188
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8637-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4493-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Chapter 1. How Did I Get Here? 3
Chapter 2. Those Who Can’t Teach… 5
Chapter 3. Choose Your Service 12
Chapter 4. Paper Underwear 17
Chapter 5. What Kind of School Is This? 22
Chapter 6. A Cold War Education 30
Chapter 7. The Pointy End Goes Up, Gentlemen 35
Chapter 8. The Box 41
Chapter 9. Riders May Experience Slight Turbulence 47
Chapter 10. Right Justified? 52
Chapter 11. E(woe) Is Me 57
Chapter 12. California’s Endless Fall 63
Chapter 13. Go North, Young Man 68
Chapter 14. Yes, But a Very Smart Monkey 75
Chapter 15. Sleeping on Alert 84
Chapter 16. The Missileer Code 92
Chapter 17. How to Unbutton a Launch Silo 99
Chapter 18. Women in the Man Cave 106
Chapter 19. Why So Testy? 113
Chapter 20. North Dakota—Vacationland USA! 119
Chapter 21. The Missile Olympics 126
Chapter 22. The Pit vs. the Cockpit 133
Chapter 23. The Monster in the Drawer 139
Chapter 24. Talking Shop 146
Chapter 25. It’s Not the Blast That Will Kill You 153
Chapter 26. Grooving to the Groobers 158
Chapter 27. Jail Break 165
Chapter 28. The Cape Crusader 172
Index 179