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Charlie Plumb        

Former U.S. Naval Pilot / P.O.W. Survivor

Captain Charlie Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and went on to fly the F-4 Phantom jet on 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam. On his 75th mission, with only five days before he was to return home, Plumb was shot down, captured, tortured and imprisoned in an 8 foot x 8 foot cell. He spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War in communist war prisons.

During his nearly six years of captivity, Plumb distinguished himself among his fellow prisoners as a professional in underground communications, and served for two of those years as the Chaplain in his camp.

Since his return home, more than 4,500 audiences in nearly every industry have been spellbound as Plumb draws parallels between his P.O.W. experience and the challenges of everyday life. He has shared his message to an even wider public through appearances on Good Morning America, Nightline, Larry King Live and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

One of the most sought-after achievement speakers of his time, Plumb's presentations are as he is, sincere, straightforward, humorous and tailored to motivate each specific audience he encounters. His insights on how to cope with the difficulties as well as the opportunities in life have a positive impact on those who hear his message, those who read his books, and those who come to know him as a friend.

Plumb's military honors include two Purple Hearts, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the P.O.W. Medal.

Speech Topics


Each of us has assets we often times don’t tap into until we’re challenged. Whether or not we realize it, we each have the inner strength and resources to meet whatever business or personal challenges come our way.


Invariably, just about the time things feel comfortable, change hits. And whether that change is positive or negative it can be disturbing and difficult to adjust to. Yet, it’s during those times that ones true value shows up, in taking the risks necessary to adapt to change.


In a world where downsizing forces us to do more with less, we must empower the team. “Packing parachutes” can mean the difference in survival. Yours, and your teams!


Viewed as opportunity and challenge, adversity encourages growth, and propels us beyond self-imposed limits.

The Power of Choice

In a daily routine, or in a communist prison camp, each of us has the choice to succeed, to fail...or to become the victim of circumstances.

Strength To Succeed

One of the most sought after achievement and motivational speakers of our time, Captain Plumb's experience as a Vietnam Prisoner of War is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. He relates his six year stay in the Hanoi Hilton to challenges of everyday life with the firm assertion that, "Adversity is a horrible thing....TO WASTE!" He challenges every audience to use their "Power of Choice" in response to all situations whether professional or personal.

In addition to his Keynote presentations, Seminars, Workshops and Safety Stand-down lectures, he has been listed as a Continuing Education Faculty Member with the Veterans Administration, Harvard Medical, Professional Trade Associations and a number of hospitals throughout the country.

As his numerous awards for Speaking/Training/Presenting prove, Captain Plumb is prepared to tailor make the perfect message to fill your precise needs. After hearing his presentation, your group will want to believe more, achieve more and be more in every facet of life.

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Your Safety Journey

Captain Plumb sees opportunities where others might see roadblocks. One of the most effective and dynamic motivational safety speakers in the country, Plumb illustrates the importance of embracing safety as a cornerstone to company morale, production and profitability. He is an expert at incorporating company jargon and industry buzzwords to reach the hearts and minds of each audience.

Whether your company is focusing on accident prevention, hazard recognition or risk assessment or if your meeting points are centered on injury and frequency rates, bad or good Charlie Plumb's presentation will be as he is, sincere, straightforward, humorous and tailored to your specific needs.

For 30+ years, Captain Plumb has been a part of safety conferences, safety stand-downs, safety awards banquets, workshops, seminars and retreats. He has presented to hundreds of companies, thousands of employees and all levels of management in industries across the board, privately owned companies, military and government

"Safety is not a program," says Plumb, "It's a culture and attitude is the secret to better safety!".

Tough Choices in Challenging Times

Charlie Plumb's presentation deals with challenges: his . . . and yours. In an upbeat, impactive manner, Plumb draws upon his POW experience (of nearly six years) to demonstrate how to turn adversity into assets in a highly competitive marketplace: in business or in your personal life. Adept at tailoring his message to seamlessly fit your objectives - Charlie penetrates the hearts and minds of the audience and focuses on methods people can use to break free from their own prisons . . . prisons created by blaming others, fear of failure and self-pity.

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Who Packs Your Parachute: A True Story About Charles Plumb
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
Former Prisoner of War Joins Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Honorary Advisory Board
Boulder Crest Retreat for Military Veteran Wellness announces that Captain Charlie Plumb, U.S. Navy (retired), joins their honorary advisory board. Captain Plumb graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and went on to fly the F-4 Phantom jet on 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam. On his 75th mission, with only five days before he was to return home, Captain Plumb was shot down, captured, tortured, and imprisoned in an 8 x 8 foot cell, where he spent the next 2,103 days as a prisoner of war.
Navy captain's story of survival brings hopes to others
One man's personal hell became a tool that he's used to help change the lives of countless others for decades. Over 42 years, in all 50 states and 23 foreign countries, retired U.S. Navy pilot Capt. Charlie Plumb has told the story of his time as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War to more than 5,000 audiences.

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