Santee named Memorial Day speaker

SALEM – Major General Jay G. Santee will serve as the speaker of the day at Salem’s 150th Memorial Day activities on May 26.

The Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association has nominated and unanimously selected Maj. Gen. Santee for this honor in recognition of his service to the United States.

Maj. Gen. Santee was born in Salem and attended Salem public schools. After graduating with honors in 1977 he received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy and was a 1981 distinguished graduate. He also was a 1987 distinguished graduate of Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB) in Alabama; received a master’s of business administration degree in 1989 from Golden Gate University; Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, 1993; Distinguished graduate, National War College, Ft. McNair, D.C., 1999; Executive Leadership Course at Pennsylvania State University, 2006; Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University, 2008; Executive Leadership Seminar at University of Virginia, 2010; Mid-East Asia Political-Economic Conflict Seminar at Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D.C., 2012; and Senior Joint Information Operations Application Course at Maxwell AFB, 2012.

Maj. Gen. Santee is deputy director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in Fort Belvoir, Va. The DTRA’s mission is to safeguard the U.S. and its allies from weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) and high-yield explosives by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate and counter the threat and mitigate its effects.

He also served as an acting deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Pentagon, as a division chief in U.S. Space Command and as vice commander of the 14th Air Force. He has commanded at the squadron, group and wing level. He has more than 1,800

flying hours in the F-111 and EF-111, including more than 120 combat hours during Operation Desert Storm.

His major awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster; Legion of Merit Medal with oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster; Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; and French Legion of Honor Medal.

His promotion dates include second lieutenant on May 27, 1981; first lieutenant on May 27, 1983; captain on May 27, 1985; major on May 1, 1993; lieutenant colonel on Jan. 1, 1997; colonel on April 1, 2000; brigadier general on Nov. 2, 2007; and major general on July 8, 2011.

Maj. Gen. Santee and his wife, Theresa, have been married over 30 years and currently reside in Alexandria, Va. They are the parents of two daughters, Rachel Jacobs and Emily Santee, and two grandchildren.

Memorial Day activities commence with a free breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Memorial Building at 785 E. State St. for all veterans and invited guests participating in the parade. The breakfast will be hosted by the association.

A city-wide memorial service will be conducted at 9 a.m. on the Village Green, located at the southeast corner of Lincoln and State Street.

The line-up for the Memorial Day Parade is at 9:30 a.m. on South Broadway Avenue. The parade commences at 10 a.m. and will proceed from Broadway to State Street, Lincoln Avenue, to Hope Cemetery.

Samuel A. McKinney, Memorial Day chairman, will introduce Maj. Gen. Santee at a formal ceremony to be conducted at the cemetery with full military honors at approximately 11 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, the memorial service will be conducted at the Kent State University City Center at 230 N. Lincoln Ave.