For the past few years each class at the US Air Force Academy has chosen an “exemplar,” a program USAFA describes as an opportunity for the class to
honor and identify with a past military giant, alive or dead.
This year, the USAFA Class of 2020 chose Bob Hoover.
Among other stories,
1st Lt. Robert Hoover, a former Army Air Corps, Air Force and civilian test pilot…of Nashville, Tennessee, was taken captive by the Germans after being shot-down by the Luftwaffe over France during World War II. He spent 16 months in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp, before sneaking into a German FW-190 aircraft and flying to Holland. It was his fourth attempt to escape the prison.
Though officially Read more
After USAFA appeared to capitulate to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaints that “so help me God” violated the US Constitution, two Congressmen have proposed legislation that would require “Congressional approval” before changes can be made to military oaths. The bill was proposed by Reps Sam Johnson and Pete Olson (R-Tx). Though the text is not available, the current lengthy title says the purpose of HR 3416 is
to require congressional approval before any change may be made to the oaths required for enlistment in the Armed Forces, appointment to an office in the civil service or uniformed services, or appointment as a cadet or midshipman at a military service academy…
Astute observers will note that has nothing to do with USAFA’s Cadet Honor Oath. Similarly, the oaths to which that legislation does apply are already enshrined Read more
General Mark Welsh, US Air Force Chief of Staff, announced that retired BGen James Robinson “Robbie” Risner passed away this week.
In a cruel twist of timing, the poster pulled down by USAFA last week (because it offensively said “so help me God”) was of BGen Risner’s F-100F, the “Spirit of St Louis II” — in which he crossed the Atlantic as Charles Lindbergh did, but in only 6 hours. (The aircraft remains on static display in front of the USAFA Prep School.)
BGen Risner is probably most famous for his time as a POW in Vietnam’s infamous Hanoi Hilton — where he roomed with other well-known men like Col Bud Day and LtCdr John McCain. BGen Risner, then a LtCol, was the ranking POW and the leader of the men in the prison — and it turns out he might have had an opinion on that “God and honor” thing going on at USAFA [emphasis added]:
When asked what kept him going throughout his imprisonment, Risner said in a 2004 interview on CNN Larry King Live that his survival was due to exercise and his “faith in God and Read more
US Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh, wrote “A Tribute to a Hero” on the passing of Col George “Bud” Day last weekend. The General indicated he had a somewhat personal history with the legend of Col Day:
My dad was a hero. As a young man, I asked him who his combat heroes were; he gave me only two names. One was Major General Frederick “Boots” Blesse and the other was Colonel George E. “Bud” Day. My dad was not easily impressed, so I knew that if they were his heroes, they were very, very special men. I was right.
What is most interesting, though, is what General Welsh highlights as Col Day’s legacy:
Future Airmen will honor his name and treasure his story, not because of the awards and buildings named in his honor, but for the legendary character, the unbreakable spirit and the values he demonstrated each and every day.
In an essay reminiscent of General Welsh’s past inspirational speeches, the Chief praised Col Day’s “character,” “spirit,” and “values.” These are truly what a man is remembered for, and what determines whether history remembers him as “great.”
Sadly, society Read more
US Air Force Colonel (Retired) George “Bud” Day passed away this weekend at the age of 88. Col Day received the Medal of Honor following his 5 and a half year stint as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he bunked with now-Senator John McCain much of the time.
Prior to that, Col Day was enlisted as a US Marine in World War II and an Air Force Pilot during the Korean War. He flew the F-84 Thunderjet in Korea and was flying an F-100 Super Sabre when he was shot down in Vietnam. After he was Read more
Christian fighter pilot (more accurately, Christian attack pilot) Chad Hennings recently had the opportunity to address cadets at the US Air Force Academy during its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium.
Hennings, a former A-10 pilot and member of the SuperBowl winning Dallas Cowboys, was a member of the Sports Panel:
Filled with all the excitement of an NFL championship game, three-time Super Bowl champion Hennings combines hard-hitting sports action with moral truths to convey powerful, behind-the-scenes insights on what it takes to become a winner.
Others addressing the NCLS included Read more