Jim Markel Presented with Master Pilot Award

Jim Markel was an Eagle Scout in High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps at 19. He graduated from Boot Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot-San Diego as Honor Man of his platoon and was assigned to the 8th Marines at Camp Pendleton where he applied for the Marine Aviation Cadet program. He reported to the Naval Air Training Command in Pensacola, Florida and soloed in a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor on February 23, 1963.  He went on to be trained, and qualify on aircraft carriers, in the T-28 Trojan and his first swept-wing jet, the Grumman F-9 Cougar.