James "Jim" Nipper
James Rice Nipper enlisted in the Army at 17 in 1975 and became a US Army Golden Knight in 1980, and stayed for 14 years. He was on both the Black and Gold demonstration teams then became a member of the Style and Accuracy competition team and would finish his GK career as the Team Seargent. Jim has numerous National and World skydiving titles. He retired from the Army in 1996 as a Seargent First Class. He is also a rigger, A&P/ IA mechanic, former commercial pilot and D-7693 license holder.
Melanie Nipper became a pilot in 1986, was an instrument flight instructor, crop duster, and flew cargo before flying for Gene Paul Thacker at Raeford Parachute Center where she met Jim. Melanie got in the Army as a Warrant officer in 1993 and flew Blackhawks and King Airs. Four combat tours, active duty for 12 years and was in the National Guard and still serves in the Reserves with 22 years of service flying Blackhawks. Currently flies a Kingair overseas as a contractor.