Title: Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Engineer
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Jarrell (Jerry) J. Priess, Retired Lieutenant Colonel and Engineer, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Military for dedication, achievements, and leadership in engineering.
Growing up in rural Kansas, Lt. Col. Priess learned to have an outstanding work ethic from the times he spent summers on his grandfather’s farm. There, he learned how to milk cows and feed hogs, as well as drive a tractor when he became old enough. He also began working for other farmers in various capacities and later joined a friend’s father in oil well servicing. Lt. Col. Priess’s mother encouraged him to dedicate service to his country, which leads his parents to sign a waiver for him to join the National Guard in 1954 after the close of the Korean War. Simultaneously, he wished to follow his father’s example as an engineer and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas.
Notably, Lt. Col. Priess served as a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard Army Reserve for 32 years. Specializing in aircraft operations, he was part of the staff that modified aircrafts, which was used for astronauts when they came back to the atmosphere. Originally starting out as a commander for the National Guard Unit in Ohio, he recalls his military service as the main highlight and greatest achievement of his career. In addition, he utilized his degree while working for NASA-JSC as an engineer for 50 years, from 1969 to 2019. Lt. Col. Priess attributes his grand success to his strong work ethic, as well as a driving force to succeed.
Alongside his career accomplishments, Lt. Col. Priess was inducted into the Stafford Kansas Hall of Fame in October 2014. He was also granted Sustain Superior Performance Appraisals from NASA and 1976 Sustain Superior Award from Crest and NASA. Today, he maintains lifetime membership with the Masonic Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, and Shriner, as well as affiliation with the Space Center Houston. Additionally, he remains active with the Lighthouse Charity Team and with Shriner Hospital for Children as a fundraiser for Party With a Purpose and driver. Looking ahead, Lt. Col. Priess hopes to continue supporting the causes he feels strongly for and enjoying his retirement. His advice to the next generation aspiring to join the military is to find your niche that makes a real difference and has an endless amount of determination.
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