West Point Graduate Selected to Serve on Congressional Service Academy Nomination Board

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Thomas J. Ratcliff, a West Point graduate and former Army Scout/Attack helicopter pilot, was named to a Congressional Service Academy Nomination Board. Ratcliff is the founder of the Soldier-Statesmen as well as a former partner and chief operating officer of a national firm.

It was announced recently that Thomas J. Ratcliff has been selected by Congressman Patrick J. Tiberi (OH-12) to serve on his Service Academy Nomination Board.

Lieutenant (Retired) Ratcliff joins six other former military members, educators and leaders of industry on the board. The panel holds extensive interviews with young men and women who are seeking appointment to the U.S. Military, Naval, Air Force and Merchant Marine Academies. Congressman Tiberi then makes his nominations to the federal service academies based on the board’s recommendations, with each institution deciding to whom they offer appointments from the pool of highly-qualified presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial and congressional nominees.

"I am honored to be chosen to serve on Congressman Tiberi’s committee," said Ratcliff. “He is a recognized leader and devoted champion on military and veterans issues in Congress including his steadfast commitment to the men and women fighting the Global War on Terror; maintaining and maximizing readiness levels of Ohio’s military units and installations; promoting veteran job placement in the federal government; and ensuring accessible and affordable health care for our nation’s veterans.”

Ratcliff continued, “those who aspire to join the ‘Long Gray Line’ of West Point or become a part of the storied history of service and sacrifice of the other academies represent the very best that America has to offer. Facing an uncertain international climate and a continued struggle against oppressive regimes, destructive ideologies, and terrorist elements across the globe, these young men and women have made the noble decision to protect and defend our Constitution. They should each be commended by citizens of their communities for their desire to embark on a lifetime of selfless service to our nation.”

Ratcliff, who founded the Soldier-Statesmen organization earlier this year, previously served as partner and chief operating officer of a national political strategy, public policy, government affairs and public relations firm. He currently serves in the leadership of both the Veterans for National Security Foundation and GradPAC, the service academy graduate political action committee, in Washington, DC.

Previously, he served as an appointed member of the administrations of Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich and Governor Bob Taft, most recently as spokesman and speechwriter for Ohio’s Lt. Governor and Director of Commerce Jennette B. Bradley.

Ratcliff served on active duty as an Army Scout/Attack helicopter pilot until experiencing a career-ending injury. During the 1996 presidential election cycle, he served as Senator Bob Dole’s veterans’ director, events coordinator and coalitions chairman for Ohio as well as on a national Dole campaign steering committee.

In late 1998, Ratcliff was part of a small group of ardent Elizabeth Dole supporters who--through nationwide polling and empirical data collection--illustrated to Mrs. Dole that she could become the first legitimate female candidate for the presidency in 2000. After serving as the Midwest director of operations during this successful "draft" effort, Ratcliff became Mrs. Dole' s Ohio campaign manager and political director during her candidacy.

A scholar-athlete, Ratcliff is a Dean’s List graduate and three-year varsity letterman of the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his cadet career, he was also named West Point’s first-ever White House intern. During his junior year, he was chosen to appear on the front of the Academy’s Honor Code postcard. He also served as an Army Drill Cadet helping lead hundreds of military enlistees through basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where his father had completed his own Army basic training 30 years before.

Prior to attending West Point, Ratcliff was an honors student and inductee of Omicron Delta Kappa and five other national honoraries at Miami University. He left two years of distinguished undergraduate study to attend the U.S. Military Academy after feeling the call to military service. Reflecting on his grandfather Ratcliff’s service in World War I and his maternal grandfather’s service in World War II, he felt it his duty to protect and defend his country as his forbearers had done.

Ratcliff is an active member of many veterans’ organizations including the Ohio Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, WWII Memorial, and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation board of trustees where he serves with distinguished veteran leaders from WWII through the Vietnam-era. He is also a member of the Army Aviation Association of America, the American Institute of Avionics and Astronautics, the Association of Graduates of West Point and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Ratcliff maintains his residence in Powell, Ohio.


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