Eric Caubarreaux was born on November 2, 1965, in Lafayette, Louisiana, and grew up in Marksville, Louisiana. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on February 10, 1984, and completed basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, on March 26, 1984. Amn Caubarreaux then attended the Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist Course at Sheppard AFB, Texas, from March to May 1984, followed by service as an assistant crew chief on the SR-71 Blackbird with the 9th Organizational Maintenance Squadron of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, California, from May 1984 to February 1988. His next assignment was as a crew chief on the A-10 Thunderbolt II with the 917th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron of the 917th Tactical Fighter Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, from February 1988 to February 1989. Sgt Caubarreaux left the Air Force on February 9, 1989, and joined the Louisiana Army National Guard on October 23, 1989, where he served as a crew chief on the UH-1 Huey with Company C, 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, until receiving an honorable discharge on May 1, 1993.
His Air Force Commendation Medal Citation reads:
Senior Airman Eric R. Caubarreaux distinguished himself by meritorious service as SR-71 Ground Crew Member and Assisted Crew Chief, 9th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. During this period, Airman Caubarreaux's professional skill, technical ability, and ceaseless efforts were significant factors in achieving an outstanding record in support of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. His aircraft maintenance skills along with his superior dedication to his job helped bring recognition to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing as being the best in Strategic Air Command. The distinctive accomplishments of Airman Caubarreaux reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.