Jim Whinnery graduated from Canyon High School in 1964. During his time at CHS, he was co-captain of the football team. He was also co-captain of the basketball team that won the 3A Texas State Boys Basketball Championship. Jim was named to the All State Basketball team that year.
Jim obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from West Texas State University where he earned a PhD in physical chemistry and a MAT in teaching Chemistry. Jim also has a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Upon entering the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam conflict, Jim became a Chief Flight Surgeon. He has nearly 1,000 flying hours, mostly in fighter aircraft, including F-100, F-4, A-37, F-16, and F-15s.
Jim has held numerous positions including the following: Chief of the Biodynamics Branch at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Commander of the 149th Tactical Fighter Clinic, Air National Assistant to the Command Surgeon U.S. Air Forces in Europe, The Air Surgeon National Guard Bureau, Chief Aeromedical Scientist of the Naval Air Warfare Center, Jim is a graduate of the Air War College and the Center of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Institute of Chemistry, and the Aerospace Medical Association.
Promoted to Brigadier General in 1993, he is the Assistant to the USAF Surgeon General. Jim is considered a world expert in acceleration physiology and military decorations including the Theodore G. Lyster and Arnold D. Tuttle Awards of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Legion of Merit, and Honorary Doctor of the State Scientific Test Society of the Russian Republic.