Mungenast Honored with Huntingdon Achievement Award
Montgomery, Ala.—Brigadier General (retired) James M. “Jim”
Mungenast of Knoxville, Tennessee, was honored by the Huntingdon College National Alumni Association with
the Alumni Achievement Award during the Reunion Weekend Alumni Awards Banquet Friday, April 3. Mungenast,
a member of the Huntingdon College Class of 1971, was present with his wife, Mary Jean “Jeanie”
Shields Mungenast, a member of the Huntingdon Class of 1973, and several other members of his family.
Drafted by the U.S. Selective Service upon completion of his Huntingdon course work
in December 1970, Mungenast joined the Air Force ROTC at the University of Alabama. In 1973, he completed
his master’s degree in labor relations and was commissioned in the Air Force by his father, Colonel
Following two years on active military duty at Pope AFB, N.C., Mungenast relocated to Washington, D.C.,
where he worked for several agencies while attending law school at the Catholic University of America. He
received his law degree in May 1979 and was offered a position with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s
General Counsel’s Office in Knoxville. He worked in TVA’s Labor Relations and General Counsel’s
Office and retired as a senior attorney in December 2004.
During his civilian career, Mungenast continued his military career in the Air Force Reserve,
transitioning into the intelligence career field in the early 1980s. He was promoted to colonel in 1993 and
assigned as senior reservist to the director, Missile and Space Intelligence Agency, Huntsville, Alabama,
where he established their first AF Reserve unit. In 1998 he was assigned as senior reservist to the
commander at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Dayton, Ohio, where he led the initial
mobilization of reservists following the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after his promotion to brigadier general in
2002, he was recalled to active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom, assisting in managing the intelligence
effort for Northern Iraq and a significant mobilization of reservists, and was subsequently recalled to serve
as acting director of intelligence for the European Command.
In May 2005 he was selected by the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to serve as
mobilization assistant (the director’s top reservist), where he oversaw the efforts of approximately
1,200 intelligence reserve professionals deployed throughout the United States and abroad. At DIA, he served
an additional duty as the director’s senior United States representative in Operations Orientation
Program trips to orient foreign defense attaches to the U.S. and its military operations. His wife, Jeanie,
served as the senior defense representative for the spouses who accompanied the attaches. Lt. General Mike
Maples, DIA’s director, retired General Mungenast in 2007 in Washington, D.C., presenting him with a
Defense Superior Service Medal for his service.
Mungenast serves on the boards of trustees for the non-profit Riverside Research Institute and the East
Tennessee Military Affairs Council. He serves as president of the General Bruce K. Holloway Chapter of the
Air Force Association and volunteers with the Tennessee Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and
Reserve. The Mungenasts are members of Blessed Sacrament Church, Harriman, Tennessee.
The son of Colonel (retired) Andy and Norma Mungenast of Montgomery, Alabama, Mungenast is the third
oldest of 14 siblings, who include a professor, a banker, entrepreneurs, attorneys, accountants, an
engineer, a teacher, a retired AF NCO, a social worker, and Alabama Supreme Court Justice Patti Smith.
Also honored at the banquet were Alumni Achievement Award winner Rick Yates, Class of 1982, of Lilburn,
Georgia, global director of Bottler Solution Services for the Coca-Cola Company; Young Alumni Achievement
Award winner Cynthia Barnes Hayden, Class of 1999, of Alexandria, Virginia, director of federal government
relations for Altria Client Services; and Alumni Loyalty Award winners Shirley Parker Watkins, Class of
1956, of Auburn, and Betty Thurman McMahon, Class of 1964, of Birmingham.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is
committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to
succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon is a coeducational liberal arts college.
The College motto, “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service,” is inscribed
in stone above the front door of John Jefferson Flowers Hall. Celebrating its centennial year in
Montgomery this year, the campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.