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GEM’s Gems July 2014 – Cliff Young

July 21, 2014

During the month of July, the GEM Program would like to thank all military veterans who are a part of the GEM Community for their service. Throughout the month, our GEM’s Gem blog is celebrating the accomplishments of several of these patriots.

Cliff Young, Associate Dean of Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, graduated

Cliff Young, Associate Dean of Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, is photographed in front of a T-38.

Cliff Young, Associate Dean of Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, is photographed in front of a T-38.

from college in 1969 at a time when the Vietnam War draft was in full force. “I realized I needed to make a decision or it would be made for me so I applied for pilot training in the U.S. Air Force,” Young said.

He was accepted to the Officer Training School and later to pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, TX.

“I went straight into the front seat of the F-4 and went through combat crew training in California,” he said. “My first regular assignment was Kunsan, Korea in February 1972.”

On April 1, 1972, Young’s squadron was sent down to Vietnam where he spent the next six-and-a-half months flying combat missions in both North and South Vietnam.

Young personally flew 102 missions with 34 over North Vietnam. He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals.

“I was in two Mig fights: one where the Mig snuck up behind me and fired a heat-seeking missile at me. Thanks to my flight lead, who saw the Mig and called for a max performance turn, I was able to dodge the missile,” he said. “The second attack was much more in my favor where I was able to shoot down the Mig with a heat seeking missile.”

This photo of Cliff Young (center), Associate Dean of Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, was taken the same day of his Mig fight.

This photo of Cliff Young (center), Associate Dean of Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, was taken the same day of his Mig fight.

After Vietnam, Young went back to Korea and was a guest instructor pilot with the Korean Air Force who were upgrading to F-4s. Returning home, he was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico where he instructed fighter pilots.

“While I was at Holloman, I was able to obtain my MBA through a special on-base program,” Young said. “I resigned my commission in 1976 and went back to school to obtain my doctorate.”

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

I’m currently Associate Dean of Faculty for the Business School. As such I oversee the faculty and financial resources of the Business School. I also directly oversee the Global Energy Management program.

What do you enjoy most about your position at the university?

I am most happy when I see that I can be of service to the School and programs at the university. The faculty and programs are what drive the School. I want to be able to help as much as possible.

 Please share a story about GEM or working at the CU Denver Business School that will entertain other students.

I was directly involved and worked with John Turner who developed and proposed the new MS GEM program. As part of the process, I presented the proposal to the Regents of Colorado. One of the regents asked me, “Do you mean that you have created a program that directly fits the needs of the industry?” I, of course, acknowledged yes, to which she replied that we need more programs like this. It turned out to be a very easy sell to the regents.

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