In this inspirational and captivating presentation, Brigadier General Steve Ritchie, USAF, Ret, gives a rare behind-the-scenes account of his action-packed experiences as an Ace combat pilot during the Vietnam War and how he became the only pilot in history to shoot down five MIG-21 enemy fighter jets, a record that will probably never be equaled. General Ritchie draws parallels in teamwork, discipline, integrity and leadership between his esteemed military and business careers.
Originally from Reidsville, NC, General Ritchie began his Air Force career as a cadet at the Air Force Academy in the class of 1964 and was a starting halfback for the Falcons playing his final game in the 1963 Gator Bowl. In 1965 Steve Ritchie graduated first in his class in Air Force pilot training at Laredo AFB, TX and four yrs later became one of the youngest instructors ever at the Air Force “Top Gun” Fighter Weapon School, Nellis AFB, NV. He was one of the few Second Lieutenants selected to fly the F-104, Starfighter immediately following initial pilot training. And, he is the only pilot in the world to became re-certified in the Starfighter more than 40 years later. Brigadier General Ritchie is the only Air Force Pilot Ace since the Korean War.
During his second combat tour in Southeast Asia in 1972, then Capt. Ritchie became the only American pilot in history to down 5 MiG-21 enemy fighter airplanes, a record that will probably never be equaled. During his 2 combat tours he became one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history, including:
- The Air Force Cross (our nation’s second highest award)
- 4 Silver Stars
- 10 Distinguished Flying Crosses
- 25 Air Medals
General Ritchie speaks from experiences that have given him unique insight used to motivate and empower audiences to see more clearly and appreciate our freedoms.
1 Continuing Education Credit
Sponsored by Phonak