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We recently caught up with brother James Ball, '64 to see what he's been up to since his Alpha-Delta days. 

 

JAMES A. BALL

Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret)

A retired Air Force Colonel and DOD Acquisition Manager, Colonel Jim Ball has extensive experience in research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition management, technology transfer and commercialization. He is the former Director of Technology Applications for the DoD Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Organization (now the U.S. Missile Defense Agency) and was responsible for the development and management of a program for the transitionr of technology from SDI “Star Wars” research to other applications for Federal Government Agencies, other Department of Defense programs, and commercial products. The technology transition programs that he established, over the past twenty seven years, have assisted in the establishment of numerous spin-off companies, Cooperative R&D Agreements (CRADAs) between industry and Federal laboratories, and products in the marketplace.

Colonel Ball’s military career encompassed flight test engineering, special operations, acquisition management, testing, and logistics. He served as an aircraft maintenance officer of several operational Air Force units including an Air Commando/Special Operations Squadron in Vietnam and a flight test wing. His diverse background in engineering ranges from development of transonic flow simulation techniques to the design of engineering modifications for flight tests of avionics and defensive systems for the B-1 Aircraft. His acquisition management experience includes responsibilities for the operational support and deployment of the A-10 Thunderbolt close air support aircraft and senior staff management responsibilities for new aircraft and aeronautical systems including the F-15 and Air Force engine programs. He was responsible for introducing modular automated test equipment into the Air Force inventory as well as the initiative to introduce non-flammable hydraulic fluid into combat aircraft systems. Prior to his assignment to the SDI program he was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Test and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this position he managed the DoD Foreign Weapons Evaluation Program and the NATO Cooperative Testing Program (currently known as the DOD Foreign Comparative Test Program), overseeing the evaluation of allied military systems, munitions, equipment, and technologies with potential application to U.S. military requirements. During his management of this program, the U.S. Armed Services accepted over 30 foreign developed systems for use, avoiding significant expenditures in research and development.

Jim’s second career, from 1989 through 2012, was as a private consultant in technology management and commercialization specializing in aerospace, energy, environmental, emergency management, public safety, and counter-terrorism technology applications. During this time after his Air Force Career, he worked with The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Defense Agencies, the Department of Energy, The Department of Justice, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, The National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Emergency Response Technology Program that he established for FEMA in 1998, and several private corporations and universities in support of technology development and commercialization programs and studies. The last 12 years of his career he served as the Technology Transition Manager for the Combating Terrorism Technology Support Office of the DOD. He retired in December 2012

Jim holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State and a MS in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from The Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a former faculty member of the University of Virginia and a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Gamma Tau National Honorary Engineering Societies, and founder of the Inventors Network of the Capital Area. Since his retirement from the Air Force, Jim has served with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for over twenty eight years as a Coxswain, active in Coast Guard Search and Rescue, communications, vessel safety examinations, public education, and Homeland Security operations. He has received 31 military awards and decorations during his service and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama in 2016,

Jim is married to Linda Wever. They live in Toano, VA (Williamsburg), and together have 3 daughters and a son, all married, with six Granddaughters and one Grandson.

Jim went on to say that he's supported the annual fund in the past, and that "Kappa Sigma helped me to grow into a much more social person than I would have been - I think others need the experience too, so I am happy to support.  The fraternity broadened my perspective on a lot of things socially. I  have many friends in our community today and I attribute that to my outgoing personality which was developed during my fraternity experience."

 

 

Spring Pledge Formal '63

Winter Pledge Formal '63

 

 

Fall Party '64