RCHS Distinguished Alumnus for 2022.
James G. George
Reed City Area Public Schools is proud to announce James G. George as the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus. Mr. George is a 1963 Reed City High School graduate and was Salutatorian of his class. During his high school career, Jim played football, was on the track team and worked as a carrier for The Grand Rapids Press. He was an Eagle Scout and earned the God and Country Award. Jim won a competitive nomination to the United States Air Force Academy and finished in the top quarter of his Class of 1967. After graduating from the Academy, Jim attended USAF pilot training, finishing in the top 10% of his class. As a 1st Lieutenant flying in combat, he progressed rapidly to Flight Lead and was chosen as one of five in his squadron to be designated as a “Sandy 1” - the overall commander and leader of rescue missions for downed pilots. Jim flew over 200 combat missions and 700 combat hours and was highly decorated, being awarded the Silver Star and 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses. Later, while based in Panama in July of 1979, Jim was chosen to lead a three-man team in the successful evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, during the Sandinista takeover. Among his many Air Force accomplishments, Jim was the Commander of an F-16 Fighter Squadron, and he served in the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management.
After his most notable service in the Air Force, Jim was chosen as one of the first retired military pilots to fly for Delta Air Lines. While at Delta, he was selected to instruct and evaluate as a Check Engineer, Line Check Pilot, and Lead Line Check Pilot. He flew over 17 accident and incident-free years, retiring as a Boeing 767 Captain based in Los Angeles. Jim’s volunteer work at Delta included being a member of the Board of Directors for Delta Pilots Mutual Aid, where he served as Treasurer for over eight years.
During his time with Delta, Jim was recruited into a 3rd successful career in the field of financial management as a Financial Consultant and Registered Investment Advisor. He was the principal author of the Delta “Final Approach Program,” a comprehensive guide to the Delta Air Lines Retirement Plan for pilots nearing retirement. Jim counseled over 200 Delta pilots and families on their retirement and investment options.
While Jim is predominantly retired, he continues to offer investment guidance and financial advice as a Financial Consultant Emeritus. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Delta Disabled Pilots and Survivors Association where he has been the Secretary for the past eight years.
Jim has been married to his wife, Susan, for fifty-three years. They reside in Peachtree City, Georgia. As the Distinguished Alumnus, Jim will deliver a speech to the 2022 Reed City graduating class during the May 15, 2022 graduation ceremony.