Jim Parco

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James Edward Parco (born October 22, 1968) is a former United States Air Force lieutenant colonel who emerged as a leading voice in the religious intolerance crisis,[1] at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States.


Parco was born in Pueblo, Colorado and attended the United States Air Force Academy as a student. He went on to earn his Master of Business Administration from The College of William & Mary and later, his doctorate from the University of Arizona studying under Amnon Rapoport and Vernon L. Smith.

He has published[2] widely in the fields of experimental economics, game theory and military culture.[3][4][5][6][7]

Parco served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration, overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv and spent two tours as a faculty member at his alma mater.

He is currently a professor of economics and business at Colorado College.

Criticism of religious proselytizing at the US Air Force Academy[edit]

After returning from overseas in 2003, Parco resumed his teaching post at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where he began forwarding evidence of systemic evangelical proselytizing to the institution’s chain of command. In 2005, following the ousting of Air Force chaplain Melinda Morton, the Air Force investigated the nationally publicized religious intolerance crisis,[8] and released a report[9] identifying a series of problems that led to the issuance of revised religious guidelines. He later co-authored a paper with Barry Fagin in the Humanist [10] proposing an Oath of Equal Character, and explaining the structural problems that likely led to the observed issues. In 2007, he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson National Award for the Preservation of Religious Freedom,[11] for his efforts by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He was subsequently reassigned to the Air Command and Staff College in 2007 where he ended his career teaching courses in leadership and strategy. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award[12] from the Military Officers Association of America in 2009 and in 2010, he became the first military officer in the history of Air University to be promoted to the academic rank of full professor and later named educator of the year. He retired from active duty in 2011.

Books and publications[edit]

Parco authored an essay, "For God and Country",[13] chronicling the growing religious fundamentalism in the US military. He is also a co-author of The 52nd Floor,[14] and Echoes of Mind.[15] He is also a co-editor of Attitudes Aren't Free,[16] and The Rise and Fall of DADT.[17]

A complete list of publications is available online.[18]


  1. ^ "Air Force Academy Staff Found Promoting Religion". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  2. ^ "SSRN Author Page for Parco, James E". Papers.ssrn.com. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  3. ^ Parco, J.E., Levy, D.A., and Blass, F.R. (2008). Intolerable tolerance: The problem with diversity training in the military. Armed Forces Journal, July 2008, 37-45.
  4. ^ Fagin, B.F. and Parco, J.E. (2008). A question of faith: Religious bias and coercion undermine military leadership and trust. Armed Forces Journal, January 2008, 40-43.
  5. ^ Allsep, L.M., Levy, D.A. and Parco, J.E. (2011). The culture war within: Reconciling policy change and military culture after DADT. Armed Forces Journal, February 2011, 37-41.
  6. ^ Levy, D.A., and Parco J.E. (2011). An elephant named Morality: The unspoken argument over DADT. Armed Forces Journal, September 2011, 34-37.
  7. ^ Parco J.E. and Levy, D.A. (2012). DADT R.I.P.: Why the anti-gay ban vanished without ill effects. Armed Forces Journal, September 2012, 24-26.
  8. ^ "Congressional Record - 109th Congress (2005-2006) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  9. ^ [1] Archived February 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Parco, J.E. and Fagin, B.F. (2007). The one true religion in the military. The Humanist, 67(5), 11-18.
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080820095555/http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2nd-annual-jefferson-awards.html. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ [2] Archived June 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Center for Inquiry". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  14. ^ "The 52nd Floor: Thinking Deeply about Leadership - David A. Levy, James E. Parco, Fred R. Blass - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  15. ^ "Echoes of Mind: Thinking Deeply about Humanship - David A. Levy, James E. Parco - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  16. ^ "Attitudes Aren't Free: Thinking Deeply About Diversity in the U.S. Armed Forces - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  17. ^ "Evolution of Government Policy Towards Homosexuality in the US Military: The Rise and Fall of DADT (Hardback)". Routledge. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  18. ^ Parco, Jim. "Jim Parco | Colorado College - Academia.edu". Coloradocollege.academia.edu. Retrieved 2015-02-28.