Captain Arnold J. Tolbert began his military service as an Air Force ROTC cadet at the University of South Carolina where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1975. His first duty assignment was at Whiteman AFB, MO where he served as a Deputy Combat Crew Commander and missile launch officer. His next duty assignment was Chief Disaster Preparedness at Spangdahlem AFB, Germany during which he was selected to attend undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, OK. As a pilot, he was stationed at Warner Robbins, AFB, GA where he flew the KC 135 and finally at Sheppard AFB, TX where he was a T37 instructor pilot.
He separated from the Air Force in 1987 and went on to complete a 21-year career with American Airlines. He has over 17,000 hours of flight time and holds type rating in the Boeing 737 & 727; the Airbus 300-600; and the McDonald Douglas 11. He has been serving as the Chair of the Department of Aviation & Safety at Florida Memorial University since 2008