Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Jack's Story


Jack Cole served as the Executive Planner for Industry Affairs at the Air Transport Association (ATA) from 2004 to 2010. In that capacity, he represented ATA and the airline industry in planning, designing, building and implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) for the 21st Century.

Cole served as Senior Director, Safety, for the Air Transport Association from 2000 to 2OO3. In that capacity, he was responsible for representing ATA's air carrier members and working aviation safety issues on their behalf. ATA member airlines transport more than 90 percent of all airline and passenger traffic in the United States, and ATA assists its members by promoting aviation safety, advocating industry positions, conducting industry-wide programs and ensuring public understanding and awareness of the airline industry.

During his Air Force career, he directed and operated VIP Air Transportation for the president, vice president, senior government officials, and foreign dignitaries. Cole worked the Desert Shield/Desert Storm airlift of 482,000 troops and 513,000 tons of cargo halfway around the world. He also directed the entire safety program for the U.S. Air Force, overseeing all flight, weapons, explosives, and ground safety, as well as nuclear weapons surety. Cole served as Assistant Professor of History at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he taught courses on European history, military history, and the history of aviation and air power.

After a thirty year career in the U.S. Air Force Jack Cole retired as a Brigadier General in 1994. He then served as President and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association from 1994 to 1996 and then four years as the Executive Director of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

His twenty years experience in the U.S. government interagency arena includes working policy and strategy issues in national security affairs as well as aviation safety issues with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the aerospace industry and the entire aviation community.

As a certificated flight instructor and commercial pilot with an instrument rating, Jack Cole has logged over 6,500 total flying hours including extensive heavy jet instructor and check pilot time. He has 1,000 hours night combat flying time.

Cole graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. in engineering in 1964. He earned an M.A. in history from Ohio State University in 1970 and an M.B.A. from Auburn University in 1979. He completed the executive development program at Cornell University in 1988.

Jack and his wife, Carie, have two children and two grandchildren.
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