LtCol. Blaydes enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1978. As an enlisted he was a jet engine mechanic on the A-6 Intruder aircraft. Selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program, he attained his commission in 1981 and was designated an Anti-Air Warfare Officer working with Hawk and Stinger missiles. LtCol. Blaydes has served as a Platoon Commander, Battery Commanding Officer, Operations Officer and Logistics Officer. His last command upon retirement was in Yuma, AZ. as the Squadron Commanding Officer of MACS-1. His first assignment as a Senior Marine Instructor was in Montgomery, AL. After one year, Coolidge, AZ. unit opened up and he quickly came back to the Southwest. After seven years at Coolidge High School, the Marine Corps downgraded the program and LtCol. Blaydes moved over to the Casa Grande Union High School MCJROTC where he is in his seventh year as SMI.