Former Marine Corps Pilot Gen. John R. "Jack" Dailey (Ret) Honored With Distinguished Achievement Award
The Wings Club will honor General John R. “Jack” Dailey (USMC Ret.), Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation, The Wings Club will present the Award on Friday, October 26 at its 70th Annual Awards Gala to be held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Gen. John R. "Jack" Dailey (pictured in Smithsonian photo), a retired U.S. Marine Corps General and pilot, became the Director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in January 2000. Dailey came to the museum from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he had been the associate deputy administrator since retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps. He served at NASA from 1992 to 1999, where he led the agency's internal operations.
His career in the Marine Corps spanned 36 years and included extensive command and staff experience. He has flown more than 7,000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft and helicopters. During two tours in Vietnam, he flew 450 missions. He was promoted to the rank of General and named Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1990. He has numerous personal decorations for his service in the Marine Corps and NASA.
While at NASA, Dailey served on the President's Management Council, co-chaired the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, and was a national delegate to the Research and Technology Organization supporting NATO. He served as national commander of the Marine Corps Aviation Association and is a member of the Early and Pioneer Naval Aviators Association.
The National Air and Space Museum, which opened in 1976, is home to many of the "firsts" in aviation and space history, including the Wright brothers' Flyer, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo 11 command module Columbia. With approximately 8 million visitors a year, it is one of the most popular museums in the world. During Dailey's tenure, the museum has expanded to include a second building, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport. The facility, which includes the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar, opened in 2003.
Dailey was born Feb. 17, 1934, in Quantico, VA, and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1956. He and his wife, the former Mimi Rodian of Copenhagen, Denmark, live in Fairfax, VA. They have two children and four grandchildren.
The Wings Club’s Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented annually since 1975. Past recipients include Neil Armstrong, Senator John Glenn, President George H. W. Bush, Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, Steven Udvar-Hazy and T. Allan McArtor as well as 13 present and former airline CEO’s including Frederick Smith, Robert Crandall, Herbert Kelleher, Gordon Bethune, Sir Colin Marshall, Wolfgang Mayrhuber and Sir Richard Branson.