McInerney Receives Gold Medal Upon Retirement

The National Defense Industrial Association presented its highest award for achievement, the NDIA Gold Medal, to Vice President of Membership and Chapters retired Air Force Maj. Gen. James E. McInerney Jr. McInerney retires at the end of December.

Tom Owens, a retired Air Force colonel and former director of Air Force programs at Boeing, was named as his replacement.  

McInerney merited recognition for his contributions to the mission of NDIA and the care of the membership and chapters department. Since 1992, when the organization was still the American Defense Preparedness Association, through its transformation into NDIA, he piloted membership growth in concert with the rise of the association’s stature in the national security community.

Membership stood at 864 corporate members and 32,860 individual members when he arrived. Today, more than 1,760 companies and nearly 90,000 individuals comprise NDIA. He took part in bringing affiliates onboard, including Women In Defense and the Precision Strike Association.

And while that combination would mean a stellar career for most, it comes in the context of his service to our nation in two wars. He shot down the last MiG in Korea and received the Air Force Cross in Vietnam for taking down the largest number of SAM sites in one day.

Owens has served on the Board of Directors for the National Aviation Club, as the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates local chapter vice president, and has twice been a president of an Air Force Association chapter. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Air Force Academy Falcon Foundation. He comes to NDIA from The Spectrum Group, where he served as an independent consultant.


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