In Memoriam: Jack Howard “Mad Jack” Dotterer

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, Cruz Associates, Inc. (CAI) lost an important and cherished member of our family.

Jack Howard “Mad Jack” Dotterer was born on October 11, 1950 and passed away on Saturday, June 22, 2019. Jack was a resident of Virginia at the time of passing.

Chief Warrant Officer Five (Retired) Jack H. Dotterer faithfully served 31 years in the United States Army.  He graduated flight school in 1969 and was immediately deployed to the Republic of Vietnam, where he flew over 1,000 hours supporting combat operations.  Upon returning to the United States, he was assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD as a Systems Test Pilot where he conducted flight tests on emerging aviation technologies.  In 1973, Jack redeployed to the Republic of Vietnam supporting two international organizations involved in the Paris Cease-Fire Accords.  After his departure from Vietnam, Jack served tours in Germany, Fort Campbell, KY, and Camp Casey, Korea, serving as a pilot-in-command and aviation maintenance officer.

In 1984, CW5 (R) Dotterer assessed for and was assigned to Charlie Company (Ghostriders), Task Force 160, the predecessor to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).  Jack served six years with the Ghostriders as an aviation maintenance officer and aviation maintenance platoon leader.  In 1990, he was selected to serve in the 160th SOAR’s “skunk works”, the Systems Integration and Management Office (SIMO).  During his nine years in SIMO, Jack was instrumental in developing, testing, and fielding numerous helicopter technologies for the 160th SOAR.  His contributions to Army Aviation technologies are still used today.  Jack retired from the US Army December 31, 1999 with over 5,000 flight hours and numerous awards and decorations.

Upon his retirement from the U.S. Army, Mr. Jack Dotterer began his second career as a Senior MH-60 Program Integrator with Cruz Associates, Inc., supporting the 160th SOAR’s aircraft modernization programs.  For 17 years, Jack performed in leadership and technical expertise roles for Cruz, providing 160th SOAR soldiers with the finest aviation equipment in the world.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with Jack’s family and friends.

      Cruz Presents Night Stalker Award

[Fort Campbell, Kentucky] – Eric Cruz, President of Associates, Inc. (CAI), recently awarded the Night Stalker Association’s Three-Five Gas and Guns Maintainer of the Year Award to Staff Sergeant (Promotable) John McClanahan from Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 1-160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR(A)).  This award is presented annually to a 160th SOAR(A) Soldier serving in an Armorer, POL, Armament or Ammunition Handler position who has made an outstanding individual contribution to Special Operations during the previous calendar year.  SSG(P) McClanahan was instrumental in improving the Battalion’s Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) procedures and operations.  Over the past year, he set up over 30 FARPs, safely issued over 400,000 gallons of Aviation gas, and served as an Airborne Support Detachment NCOIC for two deployment rotations in Iraq.  We, at Cruz, are proud to be associated with this humble hero, and we wish him and his family the very best.

McClanahan Award

      Cruz Logo Sighting at the Indy 500

[Indianapolis, Indiana] There was a Cruz logo sighting at the 2019 Indianapolis 500.  Cruz’s favorite Indy driver, James Davison, drove the Number 33 car at speeds in excess of 230 mph to a 12th place finish.  The Cruz logo was proudly displayed on a couple of different car locations and on James’ helmet.  Look for James on the Indy racing circuit, and if you spot a Cruz logo in an interesting location…send it in!

      Cruz Awards First Nick Garcia Memorial Scholarship

[Fort Campbell, Kentucky] – Eric Cruz, President of Associates, Inc. (CAI), recently awarded the first annual Nick Garcia Memorial Scholarshipto Dangela Gorrin. Ms. Gorrin is an outgoing, self-motivated, high school senior who strives to be a positive role model in her community.  We, at Cruz, wish Ms. Gorrin the very best.  She clearly has a bright future!

The Nick Garcia Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of former Nightstalker, Nick Garcia, who lost his battle with cancer on 2 February 2018.  Mr. Garcia served his country for 25 years as a Special Operations Soldier. He dedicated his life to serving his country and those he loved.  Information on eligibility and how to apply for the scholarship can be found at

      Cruz Awards SSG Daniel Kisling Memorial Scholarship

[Fort Campbell, Kentucky] – Eric Cruz, President of Associates, Inc. (CAI), awarded the annual Staff Sergeant Daniel Kisling Memorial Scholarshipto Ms. Anna Claire Black.  Ms. Black is a junior at Austin Peay State University and is pursuing both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Communications.  We, at Cruz, wish Ms. Black the very best!

The Staff Sergeant Daniel Kisling Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of former Nightstalker, Daniel Kisling.  SSG Kisling was one of four crewmembers killed on 30 January 2003 when their MH-60L Blackhawk helicopter crashed near Bagram, Afghanistan.  Information on eligibility and how to apply for the scholarship can be found at

      Cruz Awards CPT Bartt Owens Memorial Scholarship

[Fort Campbell, Kentucky] – Eric Cruz, President of Associates, Inc. (CAI), awarded the annual Captain Bartt Owens Memorial Scholarshipto Ms. Claire Pittman. Ms. Pittman is a sophomore nursing student at the University of Tampa.  She plans to pursue a graduate degree and become a Nurse Practitioner. We, at Cruz, wish Ms. Pittmanthe very best with this very challenging and selfless career!

The Captain Bartt Owens Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of former Nightstalker, Bartt Owens.  CPT Owens died on 22 February 2002 in an overwater helicopter crash while on a training mission in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  Information on eligibility and how to apply for the scholarship can be found at

      Cruz Recognized for Guard and Reserve Support

[Yorktown, Virginia] Cruz’s own Robert Clements was recognized by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program as a “Patriotic Employer” for his support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. Robert is Cruz’s Lead Employee at Indian Head, Maryland and has been instrumental in building our Company’s reputation with our Navy customer at Indian Head.  Well done, Robert!