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Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1966, Jim Clonts graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and received his commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1988. As a B-52G Stratofortress navigator-bombardier, he flew ten combat missions in Operation DESERT STORM. During his nearly ten years of active duty service he amassed over 2,500 flying hours in the B-52G and H bombers, including 130 combat hours, and was awarded the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait and Kuwaiti Liberation Medals, Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, and the National Defense Service Medal. Jim left the service in 1998 and is currently working in the field of engineering. He is a Civil Air Patrol pilot and enjoys building experimental aircraft when he is not writing.