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.
Upcoming Chapter Events
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21 - Jack H. Dibrell Meeting
22 - Lindbergh Fly-In Picnic
25 - Colonial Virginia Scholarship Lunch
26 - MacArthur Meeting
27 - Aviation Center Meeting
27 - Old Tucson Meeting
28 - Corpus Christi Social
28 - Mid-Atlantic Final Friday
28 - Northern Lights Meeting
28 - Washington-Potomac Final Friday
11 Oct - Tarheel Golf Tournament
27 Oct - Michigan Great Lakes
Tim Gordon Memorial 10 Miler and 5K
16 Nov - Washington-Potomac Dining Out