Ryan Boyd - Passionate Husband, Airman, and Lifelong Learner

September 04, 2020

Written By: Dustie M. Clements

Posted In: Elevate Magazine

As a child, Ryan Boyd loved playing soccer and riding his bicycle around town. Boyd grew up inspired by his father and grandfather who were both Army veterans. Learning about the military through his family helped push Boyd in the direction of service. While he joined a different branch, the military was in Boyd’s blood. “No one talked me into it or had to convince me, I went to the recruiter on my own.” After talking to a recruiter next to a favored pizza place, Boyd quickly joined the Air Force. “The next thing I know I was on my way to beautiful San Antonio, TX!”

Military Service

Boyd is now a Master Sergeant, E-7 with a special and life-saving job. His specialty is Aerospace Ground Equipment or AGE. With the equipment Boyd uses, he and his fellow airmen test the aircrafts without having to leave the ground. “Some of it is used to help simulate conditions in flight or cool the aircraft the way it would if it were flying. That way the aircraft maintainers can check if it is working properly without having to fly the plane.” Fewer in-air malfunctions mean fewer accidents and safer flying conditions.

Around the World and Back

Traveling is on most people’s bucket lists, and Boyd has been all around the world. Working for the Air Force, Boyd has enjoyed working in Portugal, Japan, and England. Boyd’s favorite place to live was Terceira Island in Portugal, where he savored the culture and food, not to mention the sights. From any point on the island, a beautiful view of the ocean is available. “I really enjoyed going to the bullfights in the summer months. They don’t hurt the bulls, they just let them run through the streets and the villagers test their luck to try not to get gored.” Along with traveling the world, Boyd has had the opportunity to visit all but five US states. “Now that I’ve called them out, I’ll have to visit sometime in the future.” The views, food, and fun are just bonuses for Boyd, though, who truly enjoys what he does. “I want people to know that I loved serving my country these last 20 years, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done.”


Today, Boyd is an intern for Elevate Rapid City through the DoD Skillbridge program. “Every day at Elevate is a bit different. I have been spending time with each person who works here and trying to learn as much as possible.” The program helps active duty military members have a smooth transition from military to civilian life after they leave the service. “It is an opportunity that allows us to participate in an internship or job skills program during the last six months that we serve. The Airman shows up to the alternate duty location instead of reporting to the base every day.” 

Loving Family

Boyd met his wife Melinda in Las Vegas in 2006 and the couple wed three years later in 2009. After moving to South Dakota from England in the summer of 2018, Melinda began working as a dietitian at Ellsworth. Boyd always speaks lovingly about his wife of 11 years, “She stays busy with teaching and volunteer work. She is my inspiration and an awesome cook!” 

Even with family spread from New Jersey to Florida, Boyd loves living in the Black Hills. “I really like the spring, when all the snow is melting but there are still mounds of snow in the shady parts of the hills. That’s when you know summer is just around the corner. You can’t beat a breezy, sunny day in the Black Hills during the summer.” When Boyd isn’t working, he enjoys reading, exercising, tinkering, and of course, playing with his one-year-old puppy. The spaciousness of the Hills allows Boyd to take Harley, his Bouvier Des Flandres out for fetch and exercise. Boyd is a friendly, animal loving, family man who has served his country well and has a bright future ahead of him here in South Dakota. Although he has been around the world, Boyd sees the Black Hills as his home. “It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Black Hills definitely has some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States.” Boyd strives to help others and always remain humble, though he is a man who easily commands respect and admiration. “Every person is unique and if they are given the opportunity to express their talents, they are capable of great things.”