Hall of Fame

The AAAA-sponsored Army Aviation Hall of Fame was established to honor those persons who have made an outstanding contribution over an extended period, or a truly exceptional achievement, and to record those individuals and acts for posterity. The Army Aviation Hall of Fame (AAHOF) honors not just flying heroes but all commissioned, warrant and non-commissioned officers and Soldiers, and civilians from government and industry who have contributed to Army aviation.

Overview | Nominations | Medal of Honor | Trustees | Inductees

Hall of Fame Overview

As historians began to document the many battles of the Vietnam War, it became known as the "Helicopter War." From the first significant involvement of the U.S. military in 1961, to the departure of U.S. forces in 1973, battlefield operations became heavily dependent upon Army aviation and especially the helicopter. Acts of bravery, flying skill and battle leadership became commonplace, but by no means ordinary. The leadership of the Army Aviation Association, at the recommendation of COL Ted Crozier, concluded in 1973 that an AAAA-sponsored Army Aviation Hall of Fame should be established to honor those persons who have made an outstanding contribution over an extended period, or a truly exceptional achievement, and to record those individuals and acts for posterity. The Army Aviation Hall of Fame (AAHOF) honors not just flying heroes but all commissioned, warrant and non-commissioned officers and Soldiers, and civilians from government and industry who have contributed to Army aviation.

In the early years nominees were selected for a particular period in Army aviation history such as the Prior to 1942 Period, the 1942-1949 Period, the 1950-1959 Period and the 1960-1969 Period. The same procedures were followed in 1975 and 1976 by the selection committee chaired by COL Rudolph D. Descoteau.

On July 17, 1976 the National Executive Board (NEB) created the AAHOF Board of Trustees (BOT), with retired GEN Hamilton H. Howze as chairman and abolished the period-centric nomination process. This BOT selected seven individuals to be honored with AAHOF induction in June 1977 at Fort Rucker, Ala. and decided to use a three-year cycle with induction ceremonies occurring during AAAA conventions every third year. LTG Robert Williams, Ret. served as chairman for the 1992 and 1995 inductions and retired MG George W. Putnam, Jr., conducted the 1998 and 2001 inductions. As time passed, the five-year AAAA membership requirement for voting eligibility was eventually reduced to two years of membership in 1992, and finally eliminated in 2001.

The selection and induction process changed significantly in 2007. The voting process now involves all 70 AAAA chapter presidents and the 45 members of the National Executive Board. The Chapter Presidents linkage to the membership at large represents a viable link to every AAAA member. This gives the Board renewed confidence in the integrity of the process through this "view from the field."

The AAHOF Board of Trustees decided that beginning in 2008, the induction would become an annual event to focus more attention on the AAHOF each year and on the induction of just a few selectees. This encouraged more frequent and better nominations, especially from our current generation of warfighters; allowed for acceptance speeches (not done since 1989); and provided an opportunity for pictures and videos of the inductees. The annual suspense date for nominations is 1 June.

Please help us, through your nominations, to recognize those persons who have made an outstanding contribution to Army Aviation through all the years but especially in OEF and OIF and especially in the lower ranks.

COL Hal Kushner, Ret., Chairman. Trustees: BG Norman M. Bissell, Ret., CW5 David F. Cooper, COL Nancy J. Currie, Ret., COL Patrick G. Forrester, Ret., MG Benjamin L. Harrison, Ret. (Ex-Officio, Past HOF Chairman), CW5 Randolph W. Jones, Ret., SGM Kenneth G. Rich, Ret., Dr. S. Harry Robertson

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Hall of Fame Nominations

The selection period for Hall of Fame Nominations has CHANGED. We now accept nominations and induct new Hall of Fame Members each year at our annual convention.

Nomination Form:

Criteria
An AAAA-sponsored Army Aviation Hall of Fame honors those persons who have made a) an outstanding contribution to Army Aviation over an extended period, b) a doctrinal or technical contribution, c) an innovation with an identifiable impact on Army Aviation, d) efforts that were an inspiration to others, or e) any combination of the foregoing, and records the excellence of their achievements for posterity. All persons are eligible for induction, except active duty Generals and Colonels. Membership in AAAA is not a requirement for individuals nominated for the Army Aviation Hall of Fame. Any individual, military or civilian, may nominate an individual for Army Aviation Hall of Fame consideration.

Documentation
The Army Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Trustees will consider only the following in making its selections:

  1. A 250-word summary of the accomplishments of the individual nominee.
  2. Up to three additional pages (8.5 x 11) of not less than 10pt. type, to include any/all supporting documentation and endorsements.
  3. Completed Hall of Fame Nomination Form
  4. Biography of Nominee
  5. The nomination must include a head and shoulders photo of the nominee, preferably a color 8x10. Photographs may either be mailed to the AAAA National office at the above address or submitted electronically to: awards@quad-a.org.

Submission
Any person may submit this Nomination Form directly to the Army Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Trustees for consideration. Nominations must be postmarked not later than June 1 of each year in order to be considered for induction during the following year. Nominations may either be submitted electronically to awards@quad-a.org or may be mailed to AAAA, ATTN: Chairman, Hall of Fame Board of Trustees; 593 Main Street, Monroe, CT 06468-2806. The receipt of each nomination will be acknowledged by the AAAA. However, nomination materials - to include photographs - cannot be returned.

Boarding
Copies of all nominations will be sent to each member of three different voting groups: (1) Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, (2) National Executive Board and (3) AAAA Chapter Presidents. Each nomination will be reviewed and rated on a scale of zero to ten. An Order of Merit List (OML) will be developed for each of the three voting groups. Copies of the three OML's will be sent to each member of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. The Hall of Fame Board of Trustees will meet to review the OML's and establish a "break" point for nominees to be selected for induction. The Aviation Branch Chief, the Branch Chief Warrant Officer and the Branch Command Sergeant Major will be invited to participate in this review.

Induction
Inductions into the AAAA Hall of Fame are conducted annually. The selected individuals will be inducted during ceremonies that are held during the annual Army Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. The actual Army Aviation Hall of Fame is located at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama, where the portraits of the Inductees and descriptive narratives are displayed.

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Medal of Honor

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The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces. It sometimes is referred to as the "Congressional Medal of Honor" because the president awards it on behalf of the Congress.

The medal was first authorized in 1861 for Sailors and Marines, and the following year for Soldiers as well. Since then, more than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded to members of all DOD services and the Coast Guard, as well as to a few civilians who distinguished themselves with valor.

Medals of Honor are awarded sparingly and are bestowed only to the bravest of the brave; and that valor must be well documented. So few Medals of Honor are awarded, in fact, that the only ones awarded after the Vietnam War were bestowed posthumously to Army Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon and Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart for valor in Somalia in 1993, and posthumously to the most recent recipient, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith for valor in Iraq. There were no Medals of Honor awarded during Operation Desert Storm and operations in Grenada, Panama and Lebanon.

However, since 1993, 39 other Medals of Honor have been awarded to correct past administrative errors, oversights, follow-ups on lost recommendations or as a result of new evidence.

Here are just a few examples of Soldiers who were awarded the Medal of Honor from three wars. Their actions, like the other recipients of the medal, were far and above the call of duty.

During the Civil War, the job of color bearer was one of the most hazardous as well as important duties in the Army. Soldiers looked to the flag for direction and inspiration in battle and the bearer was usually out in front, drawing heavy enemy fire while holding the flag high. On Nov. 16, 1863, regimental color bearer Pvt. Joseph E. Brandle, from the 17th Michigan Infantry, participated in a battle near Lenoire, Tenn. "...[H]aving been twice wounded and the sight of one eye destroyed, [he] still held to the colors until ordered to the rear by his regimental commander."

Corporal. Alvin C. York, from the 82nd Division, fearlessly engaged the numerically superior German force at Chatel-Chehery, France, on Oct. 8, 1918--just a month before the armistice was signed. His citation reads: "...After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and three other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Corporal. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading seven men, he charged with great daring a machine gun nest, which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machine gun nest was taken, together with four officers and 128 men and several guns."

Officers, as well as enlisted, have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Valor cuts across the ranks, as well as the services. On July 11, 1943, 2nd Lt. Robert Craig, from the 3rd Infantry Division, led his company in battle at Favoratta, Sicily. His citation reads: "...2nd Lt. Craig voluntarily undertook the perilous task of locating and destroying a hidden enemy machine gun which had halted the advance of his company. Attempts by three other officers to locate the weapon had resulted in failure, with each officer receiving wounds. 2nd Lt. Craig located the gun and snaked his way to a point within 35 yards of the hostile position before being discovered. Charging headlong into the furious automatic fire, he reached the gun, stood over it, and killed the three crewmembers with his carbine. With this obstacle removed, his company continued its advance. Shortly thereafter while advancing down the forward slope of a ridge, 2nd Lt. Craig and his platoon, in a position devoid of cover and concealment, encountered the fire of approximately 100 enemy soldiers. Electing to sacrifice himself so that his platoon might carry on the battle, he ordered his men to withdraw to the cover of the crest while he drew the enemy fire to himself. With no hope of survival, he charged toward the enemy until he was within 25 yards of them. Assuming a kneeling position, he killed five and wounded three enemy soldiers. While the hostile force concentrated fire on him, his platoon reached the cover of the crest. 2nd Lt. Craig was killed by enemy fire, but his intrepid action so inspired his men that they drove the enemy from the area, inflicting heavy casualties on the hostile force."

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