BATON ROUGE – Retired Air Force Col. Jack Twilley, of Blanco, Texas, was inducted into the Military Hall of Honor on Saturday, November 6, during the weekend-long LSU Salutes celebration sponsored by LSU and Cadets of the Ole War Skule.
The event took place at the LSU War Memorial on the Parade Ground. In addition to the ceremony at the LSU War Memorial, the Hall of Honor inductees were recognized during pregame activities for the LSU vs. Alabama football game at Tiger Stadium.
Hall of Honor inductees are selected based on their involvement with the university, as well as with the military and community. The induction ceremony included a military parade, static displays, a wreath laying, and a 21-gun salute. The LSU Corps of Cadets, consisting of LSU Army and Air Force ROTC students, and LSU and Southern students in the Southern University Navy ROTC program participated.
Twilley was one of six distinguished alumni named to the Hall of Honor. Also inducted were the late Army Col. Joseph Gerace of Baton Rouge, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charlie B. Moore of Monroe, the late Army National Guard Col. Farnham Libby “Ham” Morrison of Baton Rouge, retired Army Col. William S. “Bill” Orlov of Lansing, Kan., and retired Army Col. Michael B. Stupka of Mandeville, La.
LSU’s military history began 150 years ago with the opening of the university under Superintendent and Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. Then called the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy and nicknamed the “Ole War Skule,” the university, located in Pineville, endured two closings during the Civil War before being burned in 1869. After relocating from Pineville to Baton Rouge and taking on the name Louisiana State University, the institution continued to build on its military tradition while still retaining the “Ole War Skule” nickname.
Established as a land-grant institution in 1874 as part of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, which required all male students to receive basic military training, LSU required participation in the ROTC by all male students until 1969 when the Board of Supervisors made participation voluntary.
The university’s military tradition was never more evident than during World War II. LSU boasted more officers on active duty than any other institution in the nation other than the military academies.
LSU and Cadets of the Ole War Skule co-host other annual events throughout the year. These ceremonies help to preserve and honor the ideals and experiences from previous generations so that they can be passed along to future generations and offer a visible remembrance of the soldiers who have proudly served in America’s armed forces and given their lives to preserve our freedom.
John T. “Jack” Twilley earned a bachelor’s degree in history from LSU in 1969 and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the LSU AFROTC program. As a student, he was an AFROTC scholarship recipient, served as Cadet Colonel, was Commander of the Arnold Air Society, and was recognized with the Vice Commandant’s award at AFROTC Summer Training Camp.
Colonel Twilley served twenty-two years on active duty in a variety of assignments in the aircraft maintenance and logistics career fields. His assignments included a tour in SEA supporting F-105s as Squadron Maintenance Officer, assignment to Beale AFB, Calif., supporting the SR-71, “Blackbird” as a Maintenance Officer, a tour as an FB-111 Maintenance Supervisor, and two assignments as Squadron Commander with F-16 squadrons in Europe. He was also an Aide de Camp to a two-star general, served on the Air Staff where he helped develop the logistics portion of the AF Budget, and was a Congressional Liaison Officer. Finally, he was a Division Chief and Director, Commodities and Aircraft Management Directorates, Sacramento Air Logistics Center with responsibility for worldwide logistics support of key Air Force weapon systems, such as the F-111 and A-10.
Colonel Twilley was a Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer School and a graduate of Air Command and Staff and Air War colleges. He retired in grade of Colonel in 1992.
Colonel Twilley’s military honors include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Legion of Merit.
In civilian life, Col. Twilley has held aircraft and logistics management positions with companies such as Northwest Airlines, BDM , and SAIC. He was executive vice president for operations with Dee Howard Aircraft Maintenance in San Antonio, Texas, and vice president of the C-20 Program at M7 Aerospace, also in San Antonio.
Colonel Twilley and his wife, the former Catherine Clark, of Houston, reside in Blanco, Texas. They are adoptive grandparents and part-time caretakers of a four-year-old child and the host family of a foreign exchange student.
He is an active member of the Blanco Historic Preservation Commission and subcommittee chair of the Blanco Streetscape Committee. His hobbies include horse riding, especially on their mountain property near Cloudcroft, N.M., reading, music, and sports.