Hall of Fame

Nominations | Medal of Honor | Trustees | Inductees

POLICY and PROCEDURES
The Army Aviation Hall of Fame (AAHOF)

Background

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 of America (AAAA), 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.  The Hall of Fame is an actual hall, a sweeping gallery within the Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which houses the portraits and citations of our members, graphically demonstrating their invaluable contributions.   The Hall of Fame is more than a hall and more than a group of portraits and citations of heroes.  It is a living repository of the history of Army Aviation as illustrated by the contributions, the dedication and exploits of representatives of the extraordinary men and women who comprise Army Aviation.

History

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 Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Annual Meeting every third year.  Beginning with the 2007 induction, the AAHOF Board of Trustees decided that induction would become an annual event to focus more attention on the AAHOF each year and to make the induction more selective, and the ceremony more concentrated.  This encouraged more frequent and higher quality nominations, especially from our current generation of warfighters; allowed for acceptance speeches, which had not been done since 1989; and provided an opportunity for pictures and videos of the inductees.

The selection process also changed significantly in 2007.  The voting process now
involves the Hall of Fame Trustees, all current Army Aviation Hall of Fame Members, Branch Chief, Chief Warrant Officer of the Branch, Command Sergeant Major of the Branch, all AAAA chapter presidents and the members of the National Executive Board.

Retired LTG Robert Williams served as chairman for the 1992 and 1995 inductions, retired MG George W. Putnam, Jr., conducted the 1998 and 2001 inductions, retired MG Benjamin Harrison served as the chairman from 2003 to 2011, retired COL Hal Kushner served as the chairman from 2012 to 2016, and CW5 Randy Jones is the current chairman.

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Make up of Board of Trustees and Selection of Chairman of the Board

Constitution of Board of Trustees (BOT) and Selection of Chairman of Board of Trustees:

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is appointed by the President of AAAA and serves at the pleasure of the President. He or she must be a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame and in good standing.


The Hall of Fame Chairman selects the members of the Board of Trustees.  There should be six to ten members of the Board and each shall be an Army Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and in good standing.  The members of the HOF Board of Trustees serve at the pleasure of the HOF Chairman.

 

Hall of Fame Nominations

Nomination Form  | Instructions  

 

Criteria

The 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.   Self nominations or nominations submitted by family members will not be accepted. Medal of Honor (MOH) recipients that received their award for Army Aviation based action will automatically be inducted in the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.  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. A biography for the person being nominated.
  4. The nomination must include a photograph of the nominee in any size, preferably in color and preferably sent electronically to: [email protected].


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 [email protected] 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

Submit completed Nomination Forms directly to the Army Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Trustees for consideration.  Nominations should be e-mailed to [email protected]. It is preferred that packets be submitted electronically, but packets may also be mailed to: AAAA; ATTN: HOF/Awards Manager; 593 Main Street, Monroe, CT 06468-2830.  The receipt of each nomination will be acknowledged by the AAAA. However, all nominations material, to include photographs, cannot be returned.

Selection Process

Copies of all nominations are reviewed, individually, by the Board of Trustees (BOT).  Each nomination is rated numerically from one (1) to ten (10), with ten being the highest, by the BOT member.  The ratings are combined, by the Quad-A staff, to create an Order of Merit List (OML).  The BOT then meets, either in person or by conference call, and reviews this cumulative Order of Merit List, and selects either the top rated 15 nominees,  or the top 40%, whichever is less.  This list is then sent to the AAAA National Executive Board (NEB), Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, all current Army Aviation Hall of Fame members, and the AAAA Chapter Presidents, and they rate the nominations numerically from one (1) to ten (10), with 10 being the highest.  The Aviation Branch Chief, the Branch Chief Warrant Officer, and the Branch Command Sergeant Major are also invited to rate the packets.  All results are compiled by the AAAA Staff to create a final OML.  The Hall of Fame Board of Trustees meet, once again, to confirm the top three nominees plus one alternate.  The military records of the top three are reviewed by the Branch Historian at Fort Rucker and, if found to be accurate, are selected for induction.  The alternate is used if the historian’s review discloses information that would disqualify one of the top three.

Wear Guidance for the Hall of Fame Medal

Inductees shall receive the Hall of Fame Medallion, a Certificate, and a Lapel Pin. The Lapel Pin may be worn with civilian attire at any time. 

  1. For uniformed personnel, the Medallion should be worn in accordance with applicable military regulations.
  2. For civilian personnel, the Medallion should be worn during formal wear occasions:  Gentlemen should wear the medallion around the neck, with the ribbon over the shirt collar and the medallion resting on the external of the coat and visible.  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 medallion around the neck with the medallion hanging at the full length of the ribbon.


Notification and Induction


With the assistance of the AAAA National Office, the Army Aviation Hall of Fame Chairman will notify the individuals who have been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.  Notification letters are Federal Expressed to the address on file for each selected inductee.  Notification letters will also be forwarded to the individuals who submitted the nominations for the selected inductees.

Inductions into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame occur each year in coordination with the Army Aviation Association of America Annual Meeting.  The Army Aviation Hall of Fame Chairman and the Army Aviation Branch Chief co-present the HOF medallions with the assistance of existing AAHOF members.


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Medal of Honor

Related Links

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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