Air Marshal Trevor Osman PVSM, AVSM (Retd.)
Born in Madras in 1939, Air Marshal Trevor Osman (“TO”) received his education at Bishop Cotton’s School and later passed out of St. Joseph’s in 1956. He was selected for the National Defence Academy and after graduating, completed his flying training at Air Force Flying College Jodhpur and Jet Training Wing Hakimpet, before being commissioner as a fighter pilot in December 1960.
Between 1960 and 1973, TO served in fighter squadrons, except for a two year break when he was posted as ADC to the President of India. During this period, he built up considerable experience on various front line fighter aircraft and qualified as a Pilot Attack Instructor in 1963. TO worked his way up from “Joe Peeli” (Pilot Officer) to Squadron Commander and gained valuable operational experience during the Naga and Mizo insurgencies and combat missions during the 1965and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.
TO commanded two front line squadrons, No. 221 ‘The Valiants’ flying Sukhoi’s and No. 102 ‘The Garuds’ flying Mig 25 Foxbat trisonic aircraft. In 1988, he took command of Air Force Station Jamnagar, a strategic premium Air Force Base.
TO is a graduate of the Command and Staff College Brackwell UK (1974), The College of Air Warfare (1980) and the National Defence College (1990) where he obtained his post graduation in Defence Studies. His noteworthy senior appointments in the Air Force are Air Assistant to the Chief of Air Staff, Director of Offensive Operations Air HQ, Air Defence Commander HQ SWAC, SASO HQ EAC and finally, Vice Chief of Air Staff IAF, before he retired in March 1997.
Post retirement, TO joined the Confederation of Indian industry as Senior Advisor, tasked with setting up their first Centre of Excellence called the Institute of Quality. Between 1997 and 2005 he was fully involved in setting up three other institutions to further the quality and competitiveness of India’s economy. He now lives in Smilee Greens, a coffee and pepper estate on the outskirts of Bangalore and actively participates in their community.
In 1968, TO married Havovi, a graduate of Elphinstone College (English Lit), whose working experience and accomplishments have contributed hugely to the Air Force. TO confesses, “Havovi is the wind beneath my wings”