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KRINGS JACK KRINGS 1930 - 2014 The Honorable John E. "Jack" Krings took his last flight on 7 March 2014. Mr. Krings was born in Pittsburgh, PA on 2 April 1980. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1951. His flying career began with U.S. Air Force flight training in 1953. Later he flew F-84s in Korea. In 1956, he left the Air Force and joined McDonnell Aircraft Company as a data engineer; meanwhile flying F-86s with the Indiana Air National Guard. He began flying for McDonnell in 1958 when he was selected as a Production Test Pilot, flying the F-3H and F-101. In 1961, he graduated in Class 29 of the USN Test pilot School and became an Experimental Test Pilot in 1962. Jack was a major participant in the F-4 development, in supersonic terrain following, slat development, and spin tests. He was the eighth person to fly the F-15 and was the Project Pilot for the F-15 spin program, for which he was awarded the SETP Iven C. Kincheloe Award in 1975. He was promoted to Chief Test Pilot in 1976 and to Director of Flight Operations in 1980. In this capacity he conducted the initial flight of the F-18 in November 1980. Jack retired from McDonnell in 1985. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Mr. Krings as the first Director of Operational Test and Evaluation for the Department of Defense, working for both the Secretary of Defense and the Congressional Armed Services Committees. As an Assistant Secretary of Defense for over four years, he was a key decision maker in the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process and the policy maker for Test and Evaluation within the DoD. After departing the DoD, he established a consulting firm, the Krings Corporation, to support industry in the testing of government and commercial products. Throughout his life and career, Jack was a man of continuous learning and achieving. His awards and achievements include: Pilot Training - US Air Force; Indiana Air National Guard; Missouri National Guard; US Naval Test Pilot School; F-84 Combat Crew Air Force Training; Pilot, US Air Force; Fellow, Society of Experimental Test Pilots - received the Jimmy H. Doolittle Award for Outstanding Professional Accomplishment in Aerospace, The Iven C Kincheloe Award, and the Ray E. Tenhoff Award for Presentation of the Most Outstanding Paper. He was presented twice with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Jack was loved, respected and admired by many friends, business associates and family members. He was a humble man of great dignity, courtesy and manners and always a delight to be with. He was a warm, engaging gentleman who had a wonderful perspective on life, had great knowledge and wisdom to share. In the words of one friend, "Jack inspired us all to continue to open doors into larger rooms and not smaller." Another friend has written, "I have never met a greater patriot, nor one who has such eminently practical ideas about how to get things done well. In my opinion, our nation will not soon see another public servant who is his equal." And from another, "I was always uplifted by his kindness and encouragement." Jack is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Austin, Texas and his sons Kent, Kirk and Joseph. He was predeceased by his daughter Karen in 2006. The funeral will be on Sunday, March 16 (Visitation 1 to 3 p.m., followed by Service and Burial) at Cook Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home, 6300 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Jack to the Leukemia Society, South Central Texas Austin Chapter, 8001 Centre Park Drive, Suite 150, Austin, Texas 78754, (512) 491-6610 or by visiting www.lls.org. Condolences may be made online by visiting www.cookwaldenforestoaks.com. Arrangements under the care of Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home, 6300 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin, Texas 78749, (512) 892-1172.Arrangements under the care of Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home, 6300 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin, Texas 78749, (512) 892-1172.
Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park
6300 West William Cannon Drive
Austin, TX 78749
Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 12, 2014