Due to his demonstrated leadership and officer ship skills in cadet corps officer training, Jeff was awarded not only a full academic scholarship, but also a USAF pilot training slot. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Jeff spent a year cheating certain death and destruction earning his USAFpilot wings. Having done this better than his classmates, he won the coveted “Commanders Trophy” as the overall top graduate of his pilot training class. Jeff also won the pilot training T-38 Talon’s “Hard Charger Award” for overall dedication to excellence and training.
Jeff became a USAF fighter pilot flying the venerable A-10 Thunderbolt, also known as the “Warthog”. He was stationed with the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska.
While there, he qualified as one of the youngest 4-ship flight leaders in the entire squadron. He served as an instructor and was also combat search and rescue qualified. He won numerous Top Gun awards for air-to-ground bombing and gunnery. Due to Jeff’s outgoing, personable, always smiling, eager to please personality, his squadron mates quickly gave him his callsign “Odie” aptly named after the popular cartoon Garfield’s sidekick.
Now, few people know Jeff by his first name…but simply call him “ODIE.”
After 6 years of dedicated service in the Air Force, Odie decided to fulfill another lifelong dream by becoming an airline pilot. He began his career with Delta Air Lines in 1992, where he currently flies international routes out of Atlanta, GA.
Amid his tenure as an airline pilot, Odie also flew a 1943 T-6 “Texan ” on the airshow circuit. A tragic accident took the life of his brother, as well as the life of the pilot. This significant event in Odie’s life ignited the spark that helped create what TargetLeadership is today.
Odie has three children whom he is immensely proud of, a daughter two sons.
“Parents, like leaders, must always pay attention to the size of the shadow they cast in the eyes of others. Fresh eyes and ears are always watching and listening to the way it’s done around here.”