On Monday, September 18th, we will celebrate 70 years of the achievement, advancement and dominance of our US Air Force. In honor of this incredible milestone, AFA has been highlighting distinguished Airmen and Airpower advocates – both in and out of uniform – who have made significant contributions to our Air Force in our #70for70 campaign on social media.
In June, AFA honored the 1993 AFA Member of the Year and current Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Interoperability Col James Clark, USAF, (Ret.), who invented the world’s first deployable commercial imagery downlink system, Eagle Vision. Col Philip Mellinger, USAF (Ret.), former Dean of the School of Advanced Airpower Studies (SAAS), was highlighted for his incredible historical knowledge and education initiatives to better our Air Force.
AFA also recognized airpower giants, Gen Henry “Hap” Arnold and Lt Gen Archie Old. Gen Arnold was the first and only Airman to receive the permanent five-star rank of General of the Air Force, and is the namesake for AFA’s Arnold Air Society, an honor and service organization for members of Air Force ROTC. Lt Gen Old achieved the first around-the-world flight of three Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers in January 1957.
AFA knows the important role that families have in supporting the mission of our Air Force and the tremendous sacrifices they make as well. That is why we started the Donley Spouse Scholarship Program. AFA recognized Denise Bernard, a 2016 scholarship recipient and Active Duty spouse, who is now able to pursue her dreams of receiving her certification in veterinary medicine.
As a child, Col Merryl Tengesdal imagined flying among the stars. Today, she is one of eight female pilots and the only African-American female pilot to ever fly the U-2 Dragon Lady during the aircraft’s history and was honored for her innovative spirit.
Recipient MSgt Justin Jordan lives with the effects of PTSD, after having served with the Air Force for several years, but is grateful to have been the first active duty Airman to be allowed to serve with a PTSD Service Dog.
This month, AFA also recognized Ashley Kinsey, the 2017 recipient of the AFA Diane O’Malley Silver Wings Outstanding Service Award, presented by AFA Chairman of the Board Whit Peters at the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings National Conclave in Orlando, FL in April.
Follow AFA on social media @AirForceAssoc to view our upcoming #70for70 honorees. View all individuals featured so far, here.
Celebrate the Air Force’s 70th in style with our commemorative 70th Birthday t-shirts, buy yours here!