Dr. James Colvin

Colonel Colvin was a Senior Navigator with nearly 2,000 flying hours. He served as a B-52 Instructor, and Standardization and Evaluation Electronic Warfare Officer, squadron commander...

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Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Phone: (719) 640-0798

Interview Questions

Branch, Rank, Years of service?

USAF, Lieutenant Colonel, 1979-2000.

How long did you serve?

20 yrs., 8 mos.

What did you do in the service?

  • B-52 Navigator w/ nearly 2,000 flying hours.

  • B-52 Electronic Warfare Officer

  • B-52 ground and inflight Instructor, and Standardization and Evaluation Examiner

  • Services Squadron Commander

    • Staff Officer

      • Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE

      • Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson, AFB, CO

      • Headquarters Air Force, The Pentagon, Washington, DC

      • Headquarters Joint Staff, The Pentagon, Washington, DC

What area of your life has the military helped you grow the most in?

Decision-making, Performance, Perseverance, and Trust

What is your perspective of patriotism?

Charles de Gaulle said, “Patriotism is when the love of your own people comes first; nationalism when hate for people other than your own comes first.” I support French Prime Minister de Gaulle’s definition of patriotism. It is the love of country and the values it represents.

What was your experience transitioning from active duty to civilian life?

My experience was very positive! I retired and entered the Financial Services Industry as a Financial Advisor and Registered Representative with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in Alexandria, VA. My firm was an exceptional investment bank – its education, developmental, and licensing programs were top-notch. Building client relationships was a priority. It provided the investment platforms, tools & access to securities to fulfill our clients’ investment, education, and retirement needs.

What do you do, post active duty?

  • I work in Federal Civil Service for the Department of the Air Force. Currently, I am the Deputy Chief, Current Operations Plans Branch, Current Operations Division, Directorate of Space and Cyber Operations, Headquarters Space Operations Command, United States Space Force, Peterson-Schriever Garrison, CO. My branch provides operations planning support to the Commander Space Force forces in his duties to provide space effects and space forces to the Commander, United States Space Command, and other combatant commanders.

  • I serve on the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) – Utilities Policy Advisory Committee (UPAC). We work on assignments and make recommendations to the Colorado Springs Utilities Board. I also serve on the El Pomar Foundation’s Black Advisory Committee. I am a Co-Founder and Board Member of the USAFA Way of Life Alumni Affinity Group of the Association of Graduates. Additionally, I am a member of Sigma Pi Phi, Epsilon Chi Member Boule’ and member of the Knights of Columbus Council 14436 at the USAF Academy Community Center Chapel.

What advice would you give to others transition into civilian life?

I would encourage others to first complete a military career. Then I would suggest they follow their deferred dreams and pursue something they are truly passionate about, whether it’s in the for-profit or nonprofit arena. Do what makes you happy, contribute to your community, and engage in organizations that can make a difference in a person’s life. Finally, I would encourage them to maintain their health – similarly, as they did in the military. Especially maintaining a good weight because gaining weight contributes to so many other health issues.

What are things that people should consider before they decide to serve their country?

Many factors affect people’s decision to join military service. There is no simple answer. However, if you are not committed to what made you join, you probably will not stay. So, I would seriously consider my mental and physical strength. My ability to put me second to the mission. My commitment to a team. Take a personality profile to see how you work w/ others. The military is all about service and teamwork. It will test your character. I think the A.F. core values say it best, “Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) James T. Colvin, Jr., USAF

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