VICTORY BY VALOR
AERIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD DEVELOPED
In 1997, members of the 20th FW Association decided to initiate a new award that would be given to a pilot of the 20th FW. After much discussion, it was agreed that this award would not be solely based on a top-gun criteria, but would be open to considerations for other areas of airmanship. The Fighter Wing Association decided to fund the awards program, but the selection process would be the responsibility of the current commanders at the wing. This program was accepted by Col. Leaf, Wing Commander and the process was put into effect at the end of 1997. The points of this program are as follows:
- Criteria for the award shall be a noteworthy act of airmanship performed by a 20th FW pilot during the preceding calendar year. The type and character of the feat of airmanship shall be at the sole discretion of the 20th FW Commander.
- The award shall be presented annually, by the 20th FW Commander, during the first quarter of the following calendar year.
- The award consists of a trophy, inscribed with the rank, name and unit designation (squadron or wing office) of the winning pilot, a plaque similarly inscribed, and a $500 cash award.
- The trophy is presented to the unit commander, for retention for one year. This trophy may be retired and replaced from time to time, at the discretion of the Association. Any unit that wins the award 3 times in 6 years will permanently retain the trophy.
- The plaque will be presented to, and remain the property of, the winning pilot.
- The $500 cash award is payable to the appropriate unit fund of the winning unit, to be used as they desire to support unit activities.
- The Association pays all costs of the award (procurement, engraving, cash award, etc.).
This award has been very well received.
The winners of this award are as follows:
|Capt Donald "Rhett" Butler||55 FS||1997|
|Capt Michael "Pigpen" Hernandez||78 FS||1998|
|Maj John W "Yoda" Pearse||79 FS||1999|
|Capt Peter M "Cujo" Bilodeau||55 FS||2000|
|Capt Michael D "Bia" Lay||78 FS||2001|
|Capt Brian P "Alf" O'Neill||20 OSS||2002|
|Capt Stephen M "Rowdy" Pieper||77 FS||2003|
|Maj Jay O "Hoser" Aanrud||20 OSS||2004|
|Capt Christopher "Bodhi" Bacon||77 FS||2005|
|Capt Bryan A "Saw" Dalton||55 FS||2006|
The winners of this award are invited to bring their wife and attend the next reunion of the 20th Fighter Wing Association, at the expense of the Association.