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View a eulogy for John Parsons Wheeler, USMA '66, who passed away on December 31, 2010.

John Parsons Wheeler

West Point, 1966

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by J. A. "Andy" Chacon on January 9, 2011:

Born December 14, 1944 - Died 12-31-2010

John Wheeler was a defense consultant. He served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. from 2005-2008, when he became the Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Environment. His mission was to carry out tasks and monitor programs in support of goals as directed, and support the Air Force Secretariat with data gathering, team organization, liaison, analysis and/or options for action. Principal tasks included standing up Cyberspace Forces and placing Precision Strike technology and Real Time Streaming Video targeting links into the hands of groundfighters in combat.

Mr. Wheeler graduated from West Point in 1966, serving as a staff officer in Vietnam, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff before leaving active service in 1971. While on active duty, he authored the first Biological and Chemical Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual and the analysis supporting the President's decision that the U.S. will not use biologicals. He was also on the Red Integrated Strategic Operational Plan Team to test the Single Integrated Operational Plan. His career combines federal service and starting up, growing and turning around companies and charities. He was Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, on the team that worked major insider trader investigations, and consultant October 2009 2

to the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics regarding tankers and other issues.

For President Reagan, he created the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, linking successful veterans with veterans needing jobs. For President G.H.W. Bush, he created the Earth Conservation Corps for at-risk youth.

He was Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Wall, and first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which led the 40 percent reduction in drunk driving casualties as of 2005.

He has also served as Special Counsel to the Chairman and CEO for the turnaround of Macy's, and he helped launch charities including the Jed Foundation to prevent college suicides, Support Our Aging Religious, and the Deafness Research Foundation's National Campaign for Hearing Health to end deafness with cochlear implants for children.


For computer-based readers, these clicks illustrate the main work undertaken by Mr. Wheeler since 2005 :

1. Precision Strike and Video Links for Groundfighters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiB3vrhPDNs

2. Establishing Cyber Warfighting Capability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t849CYRd2Ak

3. Joint Warfighting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lxJSZQ93gI&feature=related


1966 Distinguished graduate, Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

1969 Master of Business Administration degree, with distinction, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.

1975 Juris Doctor, Yale Law School, New Haven, Conn.


1. 1966 - 1967, fire control platoon leader, nuclear Nike Hercules site, Franklin Lakes, N.J.

2. 1967 - 1969, graduate student, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (summer 1968, systems analyst (Strategic Programs), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.) October 2009 3

3. 1969 - 1970, member of the General Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Vietnam, Long Binh, Vietnam

4. 1970 - 1971, staff officer, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

5. 1971 - 1972, senior planner, Amtrak, Washington, D.C.

6. 1972 - 1975, law student, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

7. 1975 - 1976, law clerk, George E. MacKinnon, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

8. 1976 - 1978, Associate, Shea and Gardner Law Firm, Washington, D.C.

9. 1978 - 1986, Assistant General Counsel, Special Counsel to Chairman, and Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. (1980 - 1981, on loan per President Reagan to create Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program)

10. 1986 - 1988, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities

11. 1988 - 1989, President G.H.W. Bush Transition Team to create Earth Conservation Corps, Washington, D.C.

12. 1989 - 1997, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities

13. 1997 - 2001, President and CEO, Deafness Research Foundation, Washington, D.C.

14. 2001 - 2005, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities (2004 - 2005, consultant to acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C.)

15. 2005 - 2008, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.

16. 2008-2009 Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Energy.

17. 2009. Consultant to Mitre Corporation.


Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award with Bronze Device

Joint Service Commendation Medal

U.S. Representative, Pew Foundation, British American Project


Law Journal Officer and Note Editor, Yale Law School

Languages: Fluent in Spanish

1979 - 1989, Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

1983 - 1987, Chairman and CEO, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

1993 - present, created, then CEO Vietnam Children's Fund


District of Columbia Bar; Council on Foreign Relations October 2009 4


Conceived, and contributor to, The Wounded Generation: America After Vietnam, Prentice-Hall, 1981

Touched With Fire: The Future of the Vietnam Generation, Franklin Watts, 1984, and Avon paperback, 1985

A variety of opinion articles, broadcast and cable commentary.

Citation for Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award, 2008:


Mr. John P. Wheeler distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia, from 3 November 2005 to 20 June 2008. During this period, Mr. Wheeler's unwavering integrity, devotion to duty and steadfast leadership led to a number of successful initiatives across the Air Force.

Grasping the growing vulnerability of our weapon systems to Cyber

intrusions, he worked tirelessly to drive the activation of Air Force Cyber

Command. His visionary efforts were instrumental in the creation of the Cyber Research Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology; the first two graduates of the United States Air Force Academy to enter the Air Force Institute of Technology Cyber Master's Program; the stand-up of the Air Force Cyber School; and an increased emphasis on Air Force recruitment efforts for officers and enlisted for Cyber careers.

His seasoned experience and knowledge proved invaluable as he helped formulate advice on initiatives such as Joint Basing, Recapitalization, ROVER precision strike data for Army and Marine troops, Acquisition, and a myriad of legislative initiatives facing the Air Force.

His day-to-day interactions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense enhanced relations and ensured streamlined timely responses.

The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Wheeler in the dedication of service to his Country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

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