Chris Stricklin

Chris “Elroy” Stricklin is a retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot who is happily married to his high school sweetheart. He wrote “Love’s Tide Stronger Flows” in Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life.

He says, “Authoring this piece meant a lot to me. At the time, I was based in Afghanistan…8,000 miles from my family and approaching my twentieth wedding anniversary. As mentioned in the article, my wife had looked forward to this anniversary since the day we were married. This story was my effort to make up in some small way for leaving her once again a single mom and this time missing our milestone anniversary. I also felt it was a phenomenal opportunity to put pen to paper and discuss what made our marriage great. Too many articles are written on the negative implications of the transient military lifestyle, and I wanted to acknowledge the positive.”

Chris is an award-winning leadership author, a highly sought after motivational keynote speaker, and a combat-proven senior military leader retiring after 23 years. During his military service, he served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iceland, Turkey, and many other locations around the world. His unique career includes time with the Air Force Thunderbirds, DARPA, the White House, and the Pentagon.

A well-respected author on leadership with nearly 100 publications, his work has been featured by many publications and organizations, including, Switch and Shift, Lifehack, Great Place to Work, SAP, Business Matters and Stars and Stripes. In addition to his published articles, Chris serves as the chief growth officer of The General Leadership Foundation, which provides leadership advice to leaders from leaders. He serves on the board of advisors for Forward Heroes and Project Transition USA, two organizations focused on assisting veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian business world. He speaks on general leadership, military marriage, negotiations, branding, and corporate growth.

Chris is an associate partner at Afterburner, Inc., where he mentors corporations around the world how to build elite teams and improve individual, organizational, and team performance using the same techniques used in the high-stakes environment of combat.

He is also CEO and founder of The Thunderbird Way, a consulting firm where he discusses details of his Thunderbird aircraft ejection to help understand the importance of teamwork, attention to detail, family and friends.

Chris is a certified manager with degrees in economics, financial planning, strategic studies, and operational art and science from the US Air Force Academy, Embry Riddle, Florida State University, Georgetown University, James Madison University, Air Command and Staff College, and Army War College.

He currently lives in Chelsea, Alabama. He and his wife Terri have four children (Zach, Bethy, Aubree Lu, and Andy).

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