Monday, April 28, 2014

National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer Month! It's an opportunity to recognize ordinary people doing extraordinary things through service and celebrating people who seek out new ways to engage their communities. Volunteering comes in many way and we want to thank the many individuals who've volunteered their time and efforts to supporting AFA's mission. While April 6 through April 12 has been proclaimed to be National Volunteer Week, we know it’s never too late to thank our community! It is because of your continued commitment that we are able to carry out our many initiatives -- from promoting education with our grants, scholarships, and programs, to advocating on behalf of our airmen and the need for superior airpower, to supporting our wounded servicemembers through the Wounded Airman Program.

But our work is not done. It is only with your continued support that we can continue to be the force behind the Force and support our Air Force family.

Friday, April 25, 2014

AFA at the 2014 Wounded Warriors Selection Camp

AFA Chairman of the Board George Muellner, Vice President of Member and Field Relations Kari Hahn, and Manager of Airmen and Family Programs Caitie Craumer attended the first Air Force Warrior Games Trials at Nellis AFB, Nevada, earlier this month. We were proud to also have the support of AFA's Thunderbird Chapter. Throughout the Trials, 100 Air Force and 40 Army wounded warriors competed for slots in the September Invictus Games in the UK and the 5th Annual Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and CMSAF James Cody and their wives, Betty and Athena, also attended the opening ceremony. Welsh recognized the participants for the hard work they've undertaken and thanked the families and friends who supported the athletes throughout the process. Welsh also thanked AFA, which was a platinum sponsor of the event, for its support through the Wounded Airman Program.

Here's a video that captures the strength of the event:

AFA was excited to be part of the action! AFA has partnered with the Air Force to help support more than 3,000 airmen who are seriously ill or injured. AFA helps where the DOD programs, TRICARE, and the VA fall short, providing direct financial assistance to wounded airmen and their caretakers. Our support isn’t limited to financial assistance as AFA chapters around the country have visited airmen in hospitals, volunteered at adaptive sporting events like the Warrior Games, provided equipment and adapted lifestyle items, and continue to look at ways to help wounded airmen and their families during transition.

Most importantly—our Wounded Airman Program is unique in that 100% of donations received by the program go directly toward supporting Airmen. The Wounded Airman Program is operated and administered by AFA at large, so all overhead and staff time is covered by AFA.

Learn more (or donate today) at!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Leigh Wade Chapter Illustrates Community Support

Great show of support form AFA's Leigh Wade 169 Chapter (pictured with the 345th Training Squadron) as they participated in the 5K Run/Walk to Remember at the Virginia War Memorial earlier this month. The chapter sponsored the event and coordinated their participation through the Memorial.

345 TRS and Leigh Wade Chapter members AFTER 5K Run To Remember at the Virginia War Memorial, Saturday, April 12, 2014

This annual event is to honor and remember the sacrifices of the United States military. It includes the scenic backdrop of the Virginia War Memorial, James River and the River City skyline, in Richmond, Va.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Upcoming Scholarship Opportunities

AFA offers several scholarship opportunities throughout the year in an effort to encourage higher education and provide another level of support to our Airmen and their families.

Donley Scholarship
AFA's newest scholarship opportunity is the Mike & Gail Donley Spouse Scholarship, named after the former Secretary of the Air Force and his wife. Just recently, AFA has expanded the scholarship to include Air Force Civilian employees as they are an integral part of our Total Force family. Completed applications must be received by AFA (via email or snail mail) no later than April 30, 2014. Additional information, including an application, may be found by visiting

Callahan Scholarship
The Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship provides a $1,000 scholarship to an active duty Air Force, full time Air National Guard, or full time Air Force Reserve (officer or enlisted) pursuing a Master’s Degree in a non-technical field of study. This scholarship is in memory of Captain Jodi Callahan who was an AFA Under-Forty National Director and a Trustee of the former Aerospace Education Foundation. It is made possible through contributions to the Jodi Callahan Memorial Fund by her family and friends. AFA is currently accepting applications. Completed packages must be received by AFA no later than June 30, 2014. For more information, including requirements and an application, please go to

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 high 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

If you have any questions about AFA's scholarships, email

Friday, April 18, 2014

Science Fair Spurs Innovation Among Youth

Bill Rushing of the Donald W. Steele Sr. Memorial Chapter, Va., helped two Civil Air Patrol members judge projects at the first annual Elementary and Middle School Science and Engineering Fair, held last Saturday, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

GMU's College of Science--Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer in particular--and Pinnacle Academy of Oakton, Va., organized the fair. Twenty-two schools were represented.

CAP 1st Lt. Vinh Lu and CAP Cadet Lt. Col. Shivani Patel from the Fairfax Composite Squadron and Rushing presented plaques and AFA memberships to three winners in a special category: aerospace-related projects.

The winners were Ally Edwards, Ron Nachum, and Tyler Francis. Look for their photos in the May edition of Air Force Magazine.

In the mean time, here's a photo of judges Patel, Rushing, and Lu conferring over one of the projects on display.

Student photos by Jabari Bellamy, Art Institute of Washington
Here is Mahima Suresh from Greenbriar West Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., showing Rushing her project on parachute material.

Student photos by Jabari Bellamy, Art Institute of Washington
Make sure to pick up your May edition of Air Force Magazine to learn more about this year's winners and their projects!

Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, a single event with a lasting impact, defining a force the US could convey.

On April 18, 1942, four months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II, 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the USS Hornet headed for Japan. In a mission designed and executed by then-Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, the Doolittle raiders volunteered to bomb Tokyo.

This raid launched a long-range strike to the heart of Japan in the world's most horrific war, boosting morale to the troops of World War II and the American public back home still grieving over the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor.

The Air Force Association salutes the brave men of the Doolittle Raiders. Today, may we take time to remember the daring young men who showed great courage and sacrifice in one of the most daring operations of its time to be undertaken by the United States.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Note from AFA: New Digital Edition of Air Force Magazine Now Available

We are excited to announce a high-definition, digital edition of Air Force Magazine!

As AFA continues to move toward putting a greater emphasis on digital communications to further engage those who share in AFA’s mission, this new digital format is a testament to that transition. Qmags is the company chosen by AFA to deliver the exciting new digital edition of the magazine. This digital edition will allow you to view the issue on browsers, download the PDF, and, beginning May 2014, view the digital Air Force Magazine on your iPad, Android, or Kindle Fire tablet.

With the digital issue you get:
  • Search: Locate text or articles using keywords, author name, or subject.
  • Easy Navigation: Jump to articles directly from the cover or the table of contents.
  • Personalized Subscription Library: Access your digital Air Force Magazine library at any time, from anywhere in the world.
AFA eMembers are automatically subscribed to this new digital version of Air Force Magazine. In the coming weeks, AFA members who receive the print version of the magazine will also be given the option to receive digital Air Force Magazine at no additional cost. Be on the lookout for an email from Qmags stating that the May issue of Air Force Magazine is available.

The April 2014 issue of digital Air Force Magazine may be accessed by everyone at However, beginning in May 2014, additional login information will be required. For AFA members who have established a login for, the same login will give you access to digital Air Force Magazine.

If you still need to establish a login, go to and select "Login" at the top of the page, and follow the instructions there.

We have another great initiative coming down the pipeline soon! May 2014 brings AFA’s newest publication, Wingman Magazine. Members will receive this new publication in conjunction with Air Force Magazine’s esteemed May Almanac! Wingman serves as a window to the men and women of AFA and the broader Air Force community they serve.

Wingman will inform and engage readers with interesting stories on the work of AFA members, volunteers, chapters, and staff at our national office in Arlington, Va. It will entertain you with compelling articles on notable airmen, spouses and families, veterans, retirees, cadets, and others. Many in the AFA community contributed to this inaugural edition, and we thank them all for their dedication to making our launch a successful one! So keep an eye out for this exciting new publication!

AFA will continue to make announcements as further enhancements to Air Force Magazine are completed. Additionally, is currently undergoing a total redesign. The new design will launch mid-summer 2014.

Thank you for your continual support of the mission of this Association. With you, the possibilities are endless.


Chet Curtis
Senior Director, Education and Communications

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

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:

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

For more information, go to

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:

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 or by email, Photos from the event are available at