AFA Celebrates the Air Force's 70th Birthday
Thank you to everyone who followed along with our #70for70 social media campaign over the past several months! In celebration of the Air Force’s 70th birthday, AFA highlighted and recognized individuals who have made a significant impact on Airpower over the past 70 years in diverse ways. This social media campaign culminated at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference during the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner on Monday, September 18, 2017, when a few of the individuals in attendance joined Bill Brown, the CEO of Harris Corporation on stage to be recognized, representing all 70 individuals. AFA wants to thank Harris Corporation for their generous support as the campaign’s sponsor.
In September, AFA highlighted a few outstanding individuals who have broken barriers in our Air Force over the past seven decades.
At 102 years old, Lt Col (Ret.) Dick Cole is the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders and has been a big supporter of the Air Force Association since its founding in 1946.
Capt Lance P. Sijan, a Vietnam War hero, risked his own life on multiple occasions to prevent other Airmen from being shot down by enemy forces. Sijan was captured as a prisoner of war twice, where he later died in a Vietnamese prison camp. He was presented with the Medal of Honor, which his family accepted on his behalf.
Maj Gen Billy Mitchell, the namesake for AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, began advocating for the importance of airpower in World War I that pioneered the way for the establishment of the US Air Force we know today. Mitchell was promoted to Major General by President Roosevelt after his death.
Chief Master Sergeant Paul Airey was appointed as the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF) in 1967. The Air Force Association played an integral role in establishing the office of the CMSAF to ensure the voices of our enlisted force were always heard. This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of this milestone.
Our final #70for70 was the one and only, General Jimmy Doolittle. Doolittle was famed as the leader of the Doolittle Raiders during World War II and founded the Air Force Association as a way to “keep the gang together” in 1946 – a year before the Air Force was established. Doolittle’s spirit inspired AFA to create the Airman for Life campaign in order to keep all Airmen – past and present – connected to their Air Force roots and their Air Force story.
Thank you for joining us along this journey of 70 years of airpower dominance. AFA looks forward to seeing our Air Force continue to dominate over the next 70 years.
To learn more about the #70for70 campaign and see a list of all individuals recognized over the past year, click here.