Biography: Jim Morris
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and raised in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Jim Morris began a military career when he entered the United States Air Force in the '70s. His Air Force career spanned more than two decades and covered the globe - from flying alert in support of naval forces tracking Soviet nuclear attack submarines during the Cold War in the Arctic region to leading an Air Force special operations commando team in Asia.
Jim spent the first several years of his military career as a military working dog handler handling patrol dogs, drug dogs and bomb dogs for the Strategic Air Command and Air Training Command. As an experienced dog trainer, he trained patrol dogs, narcotic detector dogs and explosive detector dogs for the military and other government agencies at the Department of Defense Canine Training Center. Shortly after his involvement training drug dogs for Operation Counterpush, a drug trafficking interdiction operation, Jim cross trained into the Air Force Pararescue career field. A military special operations field similar to that of Navy SEALs and Army Rangers.
Following completion of the pararescue qualification program, Jim graduated and was assigned to an Air Force special operations rescue squadron. It was there he completed upgrade training, honed his tactical and medical skills, transitioned into special operation low-level night flying and became special mission qualified.
Years later, Jim received orders to the United Kingdom where he was assigned as Director of Logistics for an Air Force special operation pararescue team. He continued to fly and train for combat search and rescue missions. While overseas, Jim supported Air Force One on its European flights, Army Special Forces and Navy Special Warfare operations and exercises throughout Europe and North Africa and naval operations off the coast of Iceland. During this period Jim rewrote the team's mobility plan to enhance its world-wide deployment capabilities.
Jim was overseas when the space shuttle exploded over the Atlantic Ocean in 1986. As Director of Logistics, Jim was tasked to establish and develop plans and a program to acquire and maintain emergency rescue equipment for NASA's astronaut rescue contingency plan. This endeavor required Jim to design the program from the ground up with a deployment capability to support the shuttles emergency landing sites in Europe and Africa for all future space shuttle launches and reentry sequences.
When Jim returned from Europe he was assigned as a medical instructor at the USAF Pararescue School. He later became the school's Director of Operations & Flight Training where he oversaw all aspects of student and staff scheduling and aircraft support for training needs. Jim arranged and coordinated joint training with other organizations and military services and arranged air operation training deployments for staff and students.
In 1992 Jim was assigned as the team chief for a special operations pararescue team in the Republic of South Korea. While in this position he was responsible for all personnel, facilities, weapons, vehicles, equipment and a $10 million budget and supply account. His team had a special tactics commando type mission and a special operations low-level night flying mission. Jim's team worked with Army Special Forces in support of airborne operations in South Korea, SCUBA operations off the coast of Japan and combat search and rescue exercises in the jungles of Thailand. The team's operational area encompassed the Korean Peninsula and extended out into the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan.
Upon returning from his overseas assignment, Jim was assigned as the program manager for the Air Force's Pararescue School and its operating locations and program manager duties for the Combat Control School and its operating locations. As program manager, Jim oversaw and updated Air Force training programs, developed new curriculum and performed instruction in the classroom and in the field. He was a primary instructor for the Civil Air Patrol's Pararescue Orientation course at encampments throughout the United States. Jim eventually was medically grounded from flying and special operation duties after line-of-duty injuries he sustained in his career worsened. It was at that time he retired from the United States Air Force.
During Jim's military career he developed numerous plans and programs for the European and Pacific theaters of operation and co-authored two Air Force training manuals. He augmented the Inspector General's staff, participated in the C-17 military aircraft flight certification program and flew for numerous Air Force commands. Among Jim's Air Force qualifications, he was qualified as a Security Police canine handler and trainer, a Pararescueman, a pararescue instructor, an aircrew instructor on both fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft, in special mission aerial gunnery and as a rescue jumpmaster. His Army Special Forces qualifications include combat diver, dive master and military freefall parachutist. Jim's Department of Defense and other Air Force qualifications include handling and training patrol dogs, narcotic detection dogs and explosive detection dogs and military working dog supervisor.
Upon retiring from the Air Force, Jim accepted an appointment by the Chamber of Commerce as Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. He oversaw various projects, subcommittees and he spear headed numerous Armed Forces Day events, military award ceremonies and promoted area military organizations to the community. Jim also judged Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination competitions and sat on a scholarship awarding panel. He began a second career, a career in the field of academics as a university counselor and advisor before moving into education and training and becoming a network administrator for a school district.
A life-long-learner, Jim has a Master of Science degree in Workforce Education & Development and a Master of Arts degree in Multicultural Special Education, along with undergraduate degrees in Education, Survival & Rescue Operations and Instruction of Technology and Military Science. He completed post graduate coursework in Organizational Management and technical training in network engineering, programming and website design and development. Jim's teaching experiences are in primary education, secondary education and post-secondary education with teaching credentials and certifications in Special Education, Business Education and Technology Education.
Jim's post military involvement includes Disabled American Veterans, of which he is a lifetime member and is a National Rifle Association life member. A licensed pilot and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiast, Jim's affiliations also include Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Air Force Pararescue Association and Air Force Security Forces Association.