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Lieutenant General John B. Sams, Jr., USAF, Ret

Lt. Gen. John Sams2c Citadel BOVBackground
Owner and president of JBSJ & Associates, LLC, an aerospace consulting company, Lieutenant General Sams brings more than 45 years experience in military and commercial aerospace leadership to The Citadel Board of Visitors. Six times a commander in the U.S. Air Force, he retired in late 1999 as the commander, 15th Air Force, before joining The Boeing Company. Working his way through leadership positions within Boeing, he retired in 2008 as vice president of Air Force Programs for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Before that, Lieutenant General Sams was vice president in the former IDS Air Force Systems and led the company’s US Air Force Tanker Capture Team. His consultant company presently works for Boeing and other aerospace related companies. Additionally, Lieutenant General Sams is chair and chief operating officer of the Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group, the Joint Standardization Agent for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to all service and international aerial refueling specifications, processes and procedures.

Board Service

  • Elected by Citadel Alumni Association, 2011; current term, 2011 to 2017
  • Education and Leadership Development Committee, Chair
  • Strategy, Vision and Governance Committee, Member
  • Executive Committee, Member

Citadel Activities and Affiliations

  • The Citadel Alumni Association, Life Member
  • The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, General’s Club
  • The Citadel Foundation Summerall Society, Member
  • Citadel Clubs in Ft. Worth, Texas, and Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Founding Member
  • Citadel Class of 1967, Class Chair
  • Greater Issues Speaker, 1999

Other Board Affiliations and Community Service

  • Lowcountry Graduate Center Board of Directors
  • Falcon Foundation, United States Air Force Academy, Former Member
  • Aerial Refueling Systems Advisory Group, Chair
  • Airlift/Tanker Association Board of Directors, Former Senior Vice President
  • Medal of Honor Bowl, National Board of Directors
  • Travis Air Force Base, California, and Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, Former Combined Federal Campaign Chair


  • B. A., History, The Citadel, 1967
  • M.A., Personnel Management, Central Michigan University, 1977
  • The Air Command and Staff College, Distinguished Graduate, 1981
  • The Air War College, Distinguished Graduate, 1985
  • Emory University Advanced Management Program, 1988
  • Harvard Advanced School for Government, 1994
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Program, 1995


  • Married to Suzanne Searson of Charleston, South Carolina
  • Three children and six grandchildren, the oldest of whom is a cadet at The Citadel
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