POLICY and PROCEDURES
THE ORDER OF SAINT MICHAEL (OSM)
Saint Michael is referred to in biblical writings as an archangel who wages war against evil. He was known as the heavenly prince or champion who specifically charged forward to guard and defend others. He is legendary as the leader of angels who fought a war in heaven and conquered the dragon and cast it down from the skies. Michael's battles are an allegory of the struggle between good and evil. Throughout the centuries, Michael has been depicted with a sword fighting or standing over the conquered dragon.
The legendary image of Saint Michael defeating the dragon exemplifies the bravery and gallantry that we associate with the Aviation soldier. His angelic qualities demonstrate the boldness and swiftness of Army Aviation on the battlefield. As a brave warrior and protector, Saint Michael is the embodiment of courage and justice and is an appropriate symbol of the values and high level of excellence exhibited throughout Army Aviation.
The OSM was established in 1990 as a joint venture between the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) and the U.S. Army Aviation Center (USAAVNC) and had just one category of award: Bronze. In the intervening years the Silver and Gold categories were established.
Induction into the Order of Saint Michael is intended to recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient's seniors, subordinates, and peers. These individuals must also demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and moral character, display an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serve the United States Army Aviation or civilian aviation community with distinction.
The AAAA is the sponsoring agency and provides financial resources, administrative control, and publicity.
A nominee for induction in the Order of Saint Michael and the award of its medal(s) must have served the Army Aviation community with distinction. This service will include significant and/or long-lasting contributions.
There are no automatic criteria for induction into the OSM (e.g. retirement, PCS, deployment rotation). Additionally, a nominee must represent and have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity, moral character, ethical conduct, professional competence, and dedication to duty.
- Aviation Officers: Will have achieved Aviation Branch Qualification and made significant and/or long-lasting contributions.
- Aviation Warrant Officers: Aviators will have achieved Chief Warrant Officer status (CW2 or above) and are tracked in an Aviation specialty (i.e. Instructor Pilot, Safety, Maintenance, Tactical Operations) Technical Aviation Warrant Officers will have achieved Chief Warrant Officer status (CW2 or above). Either will have made significant and/or long-lasting contributions.
- Enlisted Soldiers: Aviation Enlisted soldiers serve in a wide variety of positions, with differing titles and occasionally a non-standard grade structure. The key criteria are distinguished service and what was accomplished to advance/improve Army Aviation during that period of service. The intent is that the nominee will have achieved branch certification and have successfully served in a Platoon Sergeant (or equivalent) level or above position, while leading Aviation soldiers.
- DA Civilian or Industry: The nominee must have made significant contribution(s) to the Army Aviation community or mission.
- All criteria required to be awarded the bronze medal must be met.
- Nominee must have a career of service represented by significant and long-lasting contributions to the Army Aviation community and the AAAA. (this criterion is not restricted only to retirement-eligible personnel)
- Active and Reserve Component personnel: Notable service in positions at or above the Aviation Brigade level or in senior staff positions e.g. Department of the Army, Joint Staff, Unified Command, Major Command, Acquisition Corps, NGB, OCAR. This criterion is applicable to:
- Field Grade Officers
- Senior Warrant Officers
- CSM/SGM or E-8's serving in a documented E-9 position
- Retirees: Criteria are similar to Active Component personnel, but their body of service will be inclusive of work in a civilian capacity which has had a lasting effect on Army Aviation, and/or through an extraordinary record of voluntary service in support of Army Aviation soldiers and their families
- DA Civilians or Members of Industry: Senior DA Civilian personnel and Senior Industry Executive Leadership will be considered in the context of significant career contributions to Army Aviation, its soldiers and families, and the AAAA.
- Nominees must meet all the criteria required to be awarded the bronze and silver medals.
- Nominee must have made significant contributions over a lifetime of service to the Army Aviation community and the AAAA.
- Continued service to Army Aviation and the AAAA through various venues such as:
- Professional writing in branch journals or other professionally oriented publications
- Professional speaking in support of Army Aviation
- Serving as an Honorary Colonel, Warrant Officer or Command Sergeant Major of a Regiment
- Actively serving in the AAAA as an officer, member of the Executive or Scholarship Boards, or in active support of association activities or initiatives
Knight of the Honorable Order of Saint Michael
While the popular and prestigious Order of St. Michael is designed as primarily an Army Aviation specific award, the AAAA recognizes that many other soldiers and civilians work diligently to promote the success of our branch, mission, profession, and community. The legend of St. Michael defeating the dragon exemplifies the bravery and courage of Army Aviation personnel and the boldness and swiftness of Army Aviation on the modern battlefield. This image would be incomplete without the trust, confidence and support of others who have championed their cause.
This award is designed to recognize an individual's long-term support to Army Aviation. The nominee need not be a member of AAAA; however, the nominator must be a member.
Eligibility to be considered a Knight of the Honorable Order of Saint Michael:
- Officers, Warrant Officers and Noncommissioned officers of US Army branches other than Aviation.
- Foreign officers and noncommissioned officers who work directly with U.S. Army organizations in support of Army Aviation missions.
- Officers and noncommissioned officers of other US Armed Services (Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard) who work directly with U.S. Army organizations in support of Army Aviation missions.
- Civil Servants, Industry Partners, and others who demonstrate continuing support of the missions, organizations, and personnel of Army Aviation and/or its professional association (AAAA).
The official nomination form should be completed. These forms may be reproduced locally. Nominations are to be provided to the local AAAA Chapter President for approval where such Chapters are organized and chartered.
Nominations using nominations/citations employed for an Army award (LOM, MSM, BSM etc) shall be avoided and will not be favorably considered. Justification must contain sufficient details about the nominee to enable the Approving Authority to make an informed decision. The nomination should include a photograph of the nominee in any size.
Nominators of OSM awards must be an active member of AAAA. The official nomination form will be submitted to the local Chapter (where such Chapters are organized and chartered) for consideration, subject to the following:
- If there is no local chapter, nominations should be sent directly to the AAAA National Executive Director. The nomination packet shall contain a nomination form, a photograph, a request form, and the appropriate payment in U.S. funds.
- Bronze Nominations: The local chapter will retain the nomination locally in order to process and render a decision. At the end of each calendar quarter, (March, June, September & December) a copy of all approved Bronze award packets will be forwarded to the AAAA Executive Director for review and administrative record keeping. To request, a Bronze Order of St. Michael 4 Pack (insert link to form)
- Silver, Gold OSM and Knight of the Honorable OSM Nominations: The local AAAA Chapter will forward the completed OSM form and the completed nomination packet to the AAAA National Office.
- Award nomination materials, to include photographs, will not be returned and become the property of the AAAA.
The Approving Authority for the OSM Award is as follows:
- Bronze Award: The President of the local AAAA Chapter (allow 30 days for processing). In instances where a local AAAA Chapter is not applicable or when the local President is nominated, the Approving Authority is the AAAA OSM Selection Committee (allow 60 days for processing action). The AAAA National Executive Group (NEG) will make the determination when the nomination cannot be processed in a timely fashion by the Committee (allow 60 days for processing).
- Silver Award: The OSM Selection Committee (allow 60 days for processing action). When the nomination cannot be processed in a timely fashion by the Selection Committee, the AAAA NEG will make the determination (allow 60 days for processing action).
- Gold Award: The AAAA NEG with the concurrence of the Army Aviation Branch Chief (allow 60 days for processing action).
- Knight of the Honorable OSM: The Order of Saint Michael Selection Committee (allow 60 days for processing action). When the nomination cannot be processed in a timely fashion by the Selection Committee, the AAAA NEG will make the determination (allow 60 days for processing action).
A subcommittee of the Awards Committee will be formed consisting of a Chairman of the AAAA OSM Selection Committee and four members of the Awards Committee appointed by the Awards Committee Chairman. The Selection Committee will consist of at least one representative from the following categories:
- General Officer
- Field Grade Officer
- Warrant Officer (CW5)
- Command Sergeant Major / Sergeant Major
- DA Civilian or Corporate representative with Army Aviation background
At least one of these individuals must be a retiree and/or from the Reserve Component.
- Silver Award: The OSM Selection Committee will receive electronic packets from AAAA National Office. The Committee Chairman will collect the recommendations and convey that recommendation to AAAA.
- Gold Award: The OSM Selection Committee will receive electronic packets from AAAA National Office. The Committee Chairman will collect the recommendations and convey that recommendation to the AAAA NEG. If the OSM Selection Committee recommends approval the AAAA Executive Director will forward it to Fort Rucker for concurrence by the Army Aviation Branch Chief.
- Knight of the Honorable OSM: The OSM Selection Committee will receive electronic packets from AAAA National Office. The Committee Chairman will collect the recommendations and convey that recommendation to AAAA.
REVIEW AND OVERSIGHT
To ensure the integrity of the OSM process, AAAA will be responsible for reviewing Chapter awards of the Bronze category. The OSM Selection Committee will accomplish this responsibility on behalf of the AAAA National Executive Board.
At the end of each calendar quarter, (March, June, September, and December) each Chapter will provide a copy of all approved Bronze award packets to the AAAA Executive Director for review and administrative record keeping. AAAA will coordinate with the Chairman of the OSM Selection Committee and distribute the files electronically as directed. Committee members will review and ensure the criteria delineated above are appropriately applied by all Chapters within the Association.
Chapters failing to comply with established criteria will be reminded of the criteria and conditions by the President of the AAAA. Should the condition persist, the Association reserves the authority to withdraw the privilege of Bronze award determination from the Chapter and transfer it to the OSM Selection Committee for a period determined by the President of AAAA.
WEAR GUIDANCE FOR THE OSM
Recipients shall receive the Medallion of the Order of St. Michael, a Certificate, and a Lapel Pin. The Lapel Pin may be worn with civilian attire at any time.
- For uniformed personnel, the Medallion should be worn in accordance with applicable military regulations.
- For civilian personnel during formal wear occasions: Gentlemen should wear the medallion around the neck with the ribbon over the shirt collar and inside the coat collar. Whether worn with a bow tie or four-in-hand necktie, the medallion should hang at the full length of the ribbon. When the four-in-hand necktie is worn, the medallion should hang over the tie. Ladies should wear the OSM around the neck with the medallion hanging at the full length of the ribbon.
NOTIFICATION and PRESENTATION
The AAAA National Office will notify the recipient through the nominator for Silver, Gold and Knight of the Honorable OSM awards. Bronze award selectees will be notified by the local Chapter President or their designee. The nominator will be responsible for induction of the recipient into the Honorable Order of Saint Michael and presentation of the medallion and certificate.
A member National Executive Group or AAAA National Executive Board will be present for presentation of any Gold OSM. The National Office will be notified at least ten days prior to the intended ceremony. The Executive Director will contact members of the NEG in order to have a representative from AAAA National at the presentation ceremony. If no one from the NEG is available, members of the NEB will be contacted.