The Honorable Thomas J. Ratcliff
Before leaving the company to found The Soldier-Statesmen among his other altruistic endeavors, The Honorable Thomas J. Ratcliff was partner and chief operating officer of a national public policy, government affairs and public relations firm.
Ratcliff 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 Lt. Governor and Director of Commerce Jennette B. Bradley. He also served on a governor's advisory board in both administrations.
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--mdash;through nationwide polling and empirical data collection--mdash;illustrated to Mrs. Dole that she could become the first viable 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. After Dole left the race, Ratcliff served as an advisor to Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in Ohio.
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. Additionally, he served in community outreach and civic-minded organizations including the Cadet Public Relations Council, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while also jointly leading the Domestic Affairs Forum.
During his junior year, he was chosen to appear on the front of the Academy's Honor Code postcard. He also served as a 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 member of 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 active in many veterans' organizations including the Ohio Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen; American Legion, AMVETS (Life Member); Disabled American Veterans (Life Member); WWII Memorial (Charter Member); Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library (Founding Member); the Military Order of the World Wars (Life Member); National D-Day Museum (Charter Member); Air Force Memorial (Charter Sponsor); National World War II Museum (Charter Member); National WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) WWII Museum (Charter Member); National Armor and Cavalry Foundation (Founding Member); Pacific Aviation Museum (Founding Member); General George Patton Museum (Founding Sponsor); National Veterans Memorial (Charter Member); World War II History Foundation (Charter Member); National Museum of Americans in Wartime (Founding Member); Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund (Charter Sponsor); National Museum of the U.S. Army (Founding Sponsor); National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center (Founding Sponsor); Cold War Museum (Founding Member); USS Indianapolis Museum (Charter Member); Central Florida World War II Museum (Charter Member); Gettysburg Foundation (Founding Member); J.F.K. Special Warfare/Special Forces Branch Memorial Association (Life Member); National September 11th Memorial (Charter Sponsor); Flight 93 National Memorial (Founding Sponsor); Pentagon Memorial; and the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.
He is also a member of the Army Aviation Association of America, the American Revolution Center at Valley Forge (Founding Member), the Military Officers Association of America (Life Member), the American Institute of Avionics and Astronautics, the United States Cavalry Association, the Association of Graduates of West Point, the Airman's Society, the Society of American Military Engineers, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, L'Association de l'Ordre Lafayette (Association of the Order of Lafayette), and the DEA Inner Circle.
In 2003, Ratcliff was appointed as a member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation board of trustees where he serves with distinguished veteran leaders from WWII through the Vietnam-era. In mid-2005, he was selected to serve on Congressman Patrick J. Tiberi's service academy nomination board, which considers young men and women seeking appointments to the U.S. Military, Naval, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academies. In late 2005, he was asked to join the leadership of the Ohio Flags of Honor Foundation, an organization founded and supported by the families of Ohioans killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ratcliff has lectured on leadership, ethics, military service, politics and public speaking and related topics at several universities and a number of secondary schools.
In mid-2007, Ratcliff was appointed to a second four-year term as a member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation board of trustees and a third service academy nomination board term. In late 2007, Ratcliff was selected by Arizona Republican Senator John S. McCain as an Ohio At-Large Delegate and was elected by citizens of Ohio to that position in March 2008. He was also named to the Ohio Veterans Leadership Team for McCain that spring and was a member of the National Leadership Team as well as several coalitions including the Americans of Faith and both the Environmental Stewardship and National Business Leaders coalitions. He was also selected as a Presidential Elector to the U.S. Electoral College for Senator McCain. In mid-2008, Kentucky Democratic Governor Steven L. Beshear commissioned Ratcliff as a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was also conferred the honor of Chevalier de l'Ordre Lafayette (Knight of the Order of Lafayette) that fall by citizens of the Republic of France.
Ratcliff is also involved in many philanthropic and historical preservation endeavors including the White House Historical Association, the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Supreme Court Historical Societies, the Army Historical Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the presidential library foundations of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush. Additionally, he is a benefactor of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Founding Sponsor), the Civil War Preservation Trust, Mount Vernon, Monticello, the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, the National Museum of Natural History (Charter Member), the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation, the Ford Theatre Society (Charter Member), the Ohio Governor's Residence and Heritage Garden, the Martin Luther King National Memorial (Founding Sponsor), Ellis Island, the Special Forces Association Scholarship Fund, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Ohio Military Hall of Fame.
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