Tuesday, April 15, 2014

AFA Legacy Life Membership

The Legacy Life Membership program is a brand new membership offering from AFA. The program is designed so that current AFA members can bestow a life membership to a family member or friend.

Former AFA National President and former Chairman of the Board, Bob Largent, recently gave one to his son. Read about their experience with the program:

Having been an AFA Life Member myself for over 30 years, my wife Becky became a Life Member in 2007. During my tenure as AFA National President and later, Chairman of the Board, I also provided our son, Scott, with an annual membership, going on some ten years now. While Scott never served in the Air Force, he grew up ‘in’ the Service and after graduating from high school and college, settled with his family in Clinton, Missouri, near Whiteman AFB. He’s been a member of the Whiteman Chapter and, while serving as an elected representative in the Missouri legislature, sponsored several AFA briefings to their Military and Veterans Affairs Committees there. Becky and I thought it time to make his membership ‘permanent’ and were delighted when the Association made the Legacy Life Membership available. We’re pleased that Scott will carry on our legacy of service through his several civic and entrepreneurial endeavors … and especially the educate, advocate and support mission of the Air Force Association.
If you are interested in this program, contact membership@afa.org.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Recruiting Retired Military Members

AFA has a large retiree membership base, making up a large portion of AFA membership. This group has continued to provide great support to AFA and its mission! Below is an article from the Membership Committee on recruiting retirees:

The AFA continues to have a very strong retiree membership base. They not only make up a majority of the membership, they also hold a majority of the leadership positions at chapter, state, and national levels. However, chapters should still put effort into recruiting those transitioning from their military careers.

There are several key opportunities to attract soon to be, or new, retirees. One way is by getting involved with the Retiree Activity Office at a local base. As most of you know, they have the master list of all the retirees in the area… although they can’t just give it out to your chapter, they do have events and newsletters which you can use to spread the word about your AFA chapter.

Another possibility is to get in touch with the local base’s Airman and Family Readiness  Center. Airmen are required to attend their Transition program so if you can reach out and at the very least put brochures in their office you will have a large audience. One successful technique to engage with those transitioning is to highlight that with the AFA they can stay connected to Airmen and the Air Force mission.

Lastly, remember to constantly look at your AFA roster to see if any fresh retirees have moved in the area, reach out to them, and welcome them into your chapter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

“Keep Spirit of ’45 Alive” Express Tour

Countdown to the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II has started and the “Spirit of ‘45” is leading the way. AFA is a proud partner in this planning effort, and we look forward to participating in the celebration of our heritage.

Events around the country are being planned in support of the anniversary. One example is the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive! Express 2014 Tour.” The Spirit of ’45 Express is on a two-year tour to help raise public awareness about the events and activities that are being planned for next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, which will include flyovers in more than 100 communities on the weekend of August 15 – 16, 2015, to pay tribute to the role American airpower played in winning the war.

The next stop on the tour is Yankee Air Museum in Bellevue, Michigan, on Wednesday, April 15. The Express will continue making stops throughout the Midwest and Northeast states en route to Washington, DC, where it will appear in the National Memorial Day Parade. While in DC, they will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Air Force Memorial.

The full itinerary for the express tour can be found here: http://secure.afa.org/Spirit_of_45_Day_Express_ITINERARY.pdf

If AFA chapters or members are interested in sponsoring a Spirit of ’45 event, let us know! Email polcom@afa.org.

For more information, go to http://www.spiritof45.org/home0.aspx.

Friday, April 4, 2014

AFA Hosts Hill Event

AFA cosponsored a caucus breakfast with The Military Coalition’s Guard-Reserve Subcommittee this week. Sixteen association leaders, including AFA President Craig McKinley, and 10 Congressional members of the House National Guard & Reserve Components Caucus talked about priorities of the Reserve component in relation to the President’s FY15 Budget request.

Formed in 1996, the Caucus has been instrumental in ensuring that our National Guard and Reserve components are adequately resourced to carry out their missions overseas, defend the homeland and provide crucial support to our nation’s citizens during natural disasters and national emergencies.

Learn more about what the caucus is doing: http://ngrcc-hunter.house.gov/

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CyberPatriot VI National Finals Competition

CyberPatriot teams across the country are celebrating success after competing in the CyberPatriot VI National Finals Competition last week.

On March 29, 2014, CyberPatriot VI concluded its week-long National Finals Competition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The full list of winning teams for CyberPatriot VI is as follows:

Open Division:
National Champion: Team “Azure,” North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood, CA
National Champion Runner-Up: Team “V'Ger,” Grissom High School, Huntsville, AL
Third Place: Team “Sudo,” Summit Technology Academy, Lee's Summit, MO

All Service Division:
National Champion: Team “Fearsome Falcons,” Clearfield High School, Clearfield, UT (Air Force JROTC)
National Champion Runner-Up: Team “Marine Raiders,” Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg, MA (Marine Corps JROTC)
Third Place: Team “Rodney's House,” Patrick Henry High School, San Diego, CA (Navy JROTC)

Middle School Division:
National Champion: Team “Cyber Knights,” Beach Cities Cadet Squadron, San Pedro, CA
National Champion Runner-Up: Team “Leathernecks,” Marine Military Academy, Harlingen, TX

The teams' competitors from the high school divisions will collectively receive nearly $50,000 in scholarships from Northrop Grumman. The Northrop Grumman Foundation is CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor.

“The Air Force Association is very proud of every one of our sponsors, coaches, mentors, team assistants, and most of all, all of our competitors for the enormous time and effort put into this season,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. “Cybersecurity events--most of them attacks--are in the news every single day. And as cyber threats to our nation continue to grow in sophistication and frequency, we absolutely must develop the next generation of cyber defenders to defeat those threats. Our CyberPatriot competitors have demonstrated throughout this season that they have the skills to meet that challenge. Congratulations to them all!”

The banquet was on the heels of a long day of competitions, where CyberPatriot competitors had to defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team made up of cyber security experts from CyberPatriot's industry partners led by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The teams also faced off in three additional competition components: the Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge from the U.S. Cyber Crime Conference and the Cisco Networking Challenge, both of which returned from previous seasons, and the new Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge.

Team VPN Tunnel Snakes from Sisler High School in Winipeg, MB (Canada) complete the Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge. Photo Credit: Student photo by Jose Ruiz, Art Institute of Washington

This year's national finals also had a few special appearances, with former Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner, and toured the competition hall.

Colin Powell speaks with Team Panthers from Bossier City, LA, as they participate in the Master Challenge. Photo credit: Student photo by Jose Ruiz, Art Institute of Washington
Additionally, Robin "Montana" Williams, the lead for the 44th President's National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, delivered the keynote address during the awards banquet, addressing the critical need for a new generation of cyber defenders. Williams is also the chief of the National Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch of the Department of Homeland Security.

CyberPatriot VI was the largest CyberPatriot competition yet, kicking off last November with nearly 1,600 teams registered. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific were represented in the competition. The CyberPatriot competition has historically consisted of two high school divisions, with public, private, and home schools competing in the Open Division and Junior ROTC units, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps units competing in the All Service Division. This season, however, CyberPatriot invited middle school students to participate in a limited middle school pilot program.

Now CyberPatriot VII promises to be even bigger. registration for the 2014-2015 season is now open, and for the first year, any middle school is welcome to participate along with the traditional field of high school teams. Information on how to register is available at www.uscyberpatriot.org or by email, info@cyberpatriot.org. Photos from the event are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHsjVUd4LZ.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Time to Apply for the Ferretti Scholarship

The Lt. Col. Romeo-Josephine Bass Ferretti Scholarship is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Lt. Col. Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti. It was established for minor dependents of active duty or retired Air Force, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard enlisted Airmen. It is for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in the area of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). The scholarship will be awarded to a student who has graduated from high school in 2014 and who is entering their first year at an accredited institution of higher learning. Recipients will be selected by committee based upon high academic achievement, good character, and financial need. The recipients will be notified by letter, and a check for $2,500 will be sent to the respective college or university for any education-related expense during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Applications are currently being accepted and must be received no later than June 30, 2014.

For requirements and an application, please visit: http://www.afa.org/LtColRomeoandJosephineBassFerrettiScholarship

Monday, March 31, 2014

AFA Remembers Dr. James Schlesinger

AFA is saddened to hear of the passing of James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense, from 1973 to 1975 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Schlesinger died last week at the age of 85.

Schlesinger dedicated himself and his work to strengthening this nation's security. He didn't just do this in his role as the Secretary of Defense, but he also served as the director of Central Intelligence Agency and as the first Secretary of Energy, under President Jimmy Carter. He also contributed to providing assistance to the Air Force as it refocused attention on its nuclear mission, organization, and culture. For all of this, AFA was honored to be able to recognize him with the 2009 AFA Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Dr. Schlesinger was a dedicated public servant, leaving this nation incredibly grateful for his life's work," said AFA President Craig McKinley. "His contributions have strongly influenced and shaped the successful nuclear deterrence program we have today, providing a heightened level of security to both this country and its friends and allies. For this, he and his efforts will never be forgotten."

Photo courtesy of DOD