Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat
Scott Gration’s memoir, Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat, is a fascinating book. A retired U.S. Air Force Major General and the former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Scott is also a Third Culture Kid (TCK).
His TCK experiences began in 1953 when Scott’s parents went to Belgian Congo as missionary teachers—he was eighteen months old. His memoir details going to boarding school at the age of seven, escaping the 1964 Congo rebellion as a refugee, and being inducted into the Masai tribe in Kenya. Scott then recounts some of the difficulties he encountered during his move back to the United States and the transition back into his parent’s culture.
But spending his childhood outside of his parent’s culture was an advantage in his military and diplomatic careers. While in Africa, Scott developed an expanded worldview, a multicultural perspective, interpersonal sensitivity, cross-cultural competence, and cultural intelligence. As you read this insightful memoir, you will gain a fascinating glimpse into both the challenges and benefits of being reared as a third culture kid.
You’ll also read fascinating accounts of developing the Predator drone, conducting the 2003 scud hunt in Iraq, and accompanying Senator Obama to Africa in 2006. Scott painfully describes surviving the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, and then he recalls speaking at the 2008 National Democratic Convention and helping to birth South Sudan in 2011. Scott’s reflections at the end of the memoir highlight important lessons he gleaned during his unlikely journey from son of Africa to a warrior and diplomat.