Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Joe's History

joe.jpg Colonel Evan Joseph Griffith Jr, USAF Academy Class of 1964, reported to the Academy from Ada, OK on 27 June 1960. While at the Academy, Joe was a proud member of the 20th Cadet Squadron, where he excelled academically, militarily and athletically. He served as Spring 1964 Cadet Squadron Commander.

Following graduation, Joe attended pilot training at Vance AFB, OK entering with Class 66-A, where he pretty much tore up the course. Graduating at the top of his class, he chose an F-4 Phantom II assignment. In 1966 he attended F-4C Replacement Training at MacDill AFB, FL, then proceeded directly to the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand where he completed his first full combat tour in late 1966. Returning to Florida, he checked out in the F4D and returned to his old unit at Ubon. He flew another full tour (giving him 200 missions in NVN) in addition to carrying a major staff position in the 8th Wing (In 1968, he became the Assistant Chief of the Wing Weapons Branch for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing). Upon completion of his second combat tour in 1968, Joe was reassigned as an F-4 instructor pilot with 414th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Nellis AFB, NV. In 1970, he proceeded to Oklahoma State University where he received a Master's degree in General Engineering. In 1971, he was assigned to Eglin AFB, FL, where he served as Project Manager and Chief of the Air-to-Air Branch of the Tactical Air Warfare Center. In 1973 he attended the Marine Command and General staff college at Quantico VA where he was designated an outstanding graduate. In 1974, Joe returned to combat as Operations Officer with the 25th TFS at Udorn RTAB, Thailand. He flew the first F4E into the Mayaguez incident and prevented the movement of the captured ship until other US responses had spooled up. During that incident he flew an additional 3 combat missions.

From 1975 to 1977, Joe was the Chief of the Systems Integration Engineering Branch, and later, Commander of the F-15A Air Force Blue Force for ACEVAL/AIMVAL (see link to story below), 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB, NV. From 1977 to 1979, he was the Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations of the 57th Tactical Training Wing at NelIis. From 1979 to 1981, Colonel Griffith was assigned to Headquarters USAF, Washington, DC, where he served as Assistant Director of Operations for Readiness Initiatives & Joint Matters. He attended the National War College in 1981. In 1982, Colonel Griffith was assigned to Elmendorf AFB, AK, where he served as Commander of the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing until his retirement 30 June 1984.

Following a brilliant military career, Joe went to work for the Anchorage Assembly as their budget and program analyst until 1989 when he became the CFO for the largest electric utility in Alaska. In 1997 he added the generation facilities to his responsibilities and in 2002 became CEO of the utility serving in that role until 2006. After this second retirement, he flew foreign jets for an aviation firm for a year and then opened an energy consulting firm and pursued oil, gas and power plant consulting until 2009 when he was persuaded to again take the helm of an organization needing help. He was appointed the general manager of Matanuska Electric Association headquartered in Palmer, AK, a position he currently holds.

Colonel Griffith is the recipient of 2 Legions of Merit, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star with ā€œVā€ device, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 22 Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and 3 Air Force Commendation Medals.

He holds a Masters Degree from Oklahoma State University and diplomas from the National War College, the Air War College, USMC Command and Staff College, and the Air Command and Staff College. He is a commercial pilot with 6000 hours of flying time in over 20 different types of aircraft.

(Compiled from multiple sources by Doug Jenkins, '64)
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