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2012 Thayer Award Recipient 
Ike Skelton

In public service,  Skelton served as the U.S. Representative from Missouri’s Fourth District  from 1977-2011. His focus was on issues involving jobs and the economy, the War in Afghanistan, military health insurance reform and standing up for the U.S. men and women in uniform. He also served as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee from 2007 until his departure, and on the Small Business Committee as Subcommittee Chair for Procurement, International Trade and Technology.

He began his career when he was elected County Prosecutor and later served as a special assistant Missouri Attorney. Voters first chose Skelton to represent them in 1971, in the Missouri Senate, when he won his first election to that body. He held this position until joining the U.S. House in 1977. He was instrumental in the enactment of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which simplified the chains of command, reduced inter-service rivalries, and implemented shared procurement processes between the branches. He also played an active role in bringing the B-2 Stealth Bomber to Whiteman Air Force Base and the Army Engineer, Chemical and Military Police Schools to Fort Leonard Wood, both located in Missouri’s Fourth District. More recently, Skelton drafted and helped institute the Weapons Acquisition Systems Reform Act, reform-minded legislation which overhauls the defense procurement process and provides additional checks against cost overruns and schedule changes.

Skelton currently serves as partner in a law firm, advising clients on a variety of legal and public policy issues, especially matters relating to national defense, small business and international trade. Among his awards and recognitions are: Honorary United States Marine, the U.S. Army Distinguished Civilian Service Medal and the U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Awards and Recognitions

 Eagle Scout
 Academy of Missouri Squires
 Air Force Exceptional Service Award
 Honorary United States Marine
 U.S. Army, Distinguished Civilian Service Medal
 U.S. Navy, Distinguished Public Service Medal Civic Involvement
 American Lung Association, Presidents Council
 Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors, Board of Directors
 Elks Club
 First Christian Church, Lexington, Missouri, Former Elder
 Harry S. Truman Institute, Board of Trustees
 Lions Club
 Masonic Bodies

 Missouri, 1956
 U.S. Supreme Court, 1979 Education
 University of Edinburgh, Scotland
 LL.B., University of Missouri – Columbia, 1956 Missouri Law Review
 A.B., University of Missouri – Columbia, 1953 Phi Beta Kappa Society
 A.A., Wentworth Military Academy and Junior College, 1951 Publications & Presentations
 Author, “The Civil-Military Gap Need Not Become a Chasm,” Joint Forces Quarterly, 1st Quarter Edition, January 2012
 Author, “Whispers of Warriors,” National Defense University Press, 2004