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While Jeff Espenship originally hails from Lake City, FL, he spent most of his childhood among the kudzu and red clay of Georgia. Jeff chose the university of Georgia for his higher education and enrolled in the prestigious Air Force ROTC program.
Due to his demonstrated leadership and officer-ship skills in cadet corps officer training, Jeff was awarded not only a full academic scholarship, but also a USAF pilot training slot.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Political Science, earning his USAF pilot wings, Jeff Espenship won the coveted "Commanders Trophy" as the overall top graduate of his pilot training class.
Jeff also won the pilot training T-38 Talon's "Hard Charger Award" for overall dedication to excellence and training.
Espenship became a USAF fighter pilot flying the venerable A-10 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Warthog". He was stationed with the 18th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there, Jeff qualified as one of the youngest 4-ship flight leaders in the entire squadron. He served as an instructor and was also combat search and rescue qualified. Espenship won numerous Top Gun awards for air-to-ground bombing and gunnery. Due to Jeff's outgoing, personable, always smiling, eager to please personality, his squadron mates quickly gave him his call sign "Odie" aptly named after the popular cartoon Garfield's sidekick.
Now, few people know Jeff by his first name...but simply call him "ODIE." After 6 years of dedicated service in the Air Force, Odie decided to fulfill another lifelong dream by becoming an airline pilot. Espenship began his career with Delta Air Lines in 1992, where he currently flies international routes out of Atlanta, GA.
Amid his tenure as an airline pilot, Odie also flew a 1943 T-6 "Texan " on the air show circuit. A tragic accident took the life of his brother, as well as the life of the pilot. This significant event in Odie's life ignited the spark that helped create what Target Leadership is today.
Jeff has three children whom he is immensely proud of, a daughter and two sons.
2010 Midland TX
Jeff is an excellent presenter and his message relates to a broad range of people. I met Jeff in 2009 and have heard his presentation many times. I also reccomend his resources for your employee training. Jeff 'Odie' Espenship is a great choice for your program.Troy A. Bonar "The Safety Samurai"
Jeff Espenship and his Target Leadership team have consistently delivered the most powerful, enlightening, and interesting safety leadership message for our next level leadership forums.Bob Gossman · Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)
We have retained Jeff Espenship for an unprecedented 4 years now. The reviews I receive from the senior leaders in each class has always been, "the best they've ever seen"
I hired Odie to do a 30 presentation roadshow throughout the entire country for all ExxonMobil US Production. It has been a sincere pleasure working with him and his team! I am grateful for the impact of his message and I have consistently received great feedback from the audience members at all levels. Thanks again for your help in raising safety awareness at USP.Phil Marquez · ExxonMobil US Production
Inspirational VS Influential leadership in the workplace
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