Air Force Honors AFA President with Distinguished Public Service Award

February 15, 2024   |   By Patrick Reardon

The Department of the Air Force presented its Distinguished Public Service Award to Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF (Ret.) at the AFA Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colo., on February 12, 2024. The citation commended Wright for his contributions in expanding public awareness of air and space power and promoting a technologically superior workforce during his five-year tenure as President & CEO of the Air & Space Forces Association.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Allvin, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman presented the award in front of nearly 20,000 in-person and virtual registrants at the AFA Warfare Symposium.

“I want to thank you for all of your service both at AFA and in uniform. You’ve been a terrific leader,” Kendall said.

Wright, who will retire in March, led AFA to officially embrace the U.S. Space Force in its mission, charter, and name. He oversaw significant expansion of AFA’s two main professional development events, the Air, Space & Cyber Conference and the AFA Warfare Symposium, which have both seen registration numbers increase by the thousands since Wright took AFA’s helm in 2019.

The citation also lauded Wright’s leadership in the formation of two new programs at AFA: the United Forces & Families (F2) program that addresses quality-of-life issues for Airmen, Guardians, and their Families; and the Doolittle Leadership Center (DLC) that travels to Air Force and Space Force bases around the world to present leadership workshops and build better leaders.

Senior Air Force, Space Force, and industry leaders who took the stage showed their gratitude for Wright’s impact through the entire three-day symposium.

“Gen. Wright, thank you very much—for your service and for the years you put into AFA and allowing us to have opportunities like this to come together, have some professional development, make some connections and talk about what a great Department of the Air Force we have,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force John Bentivegna during his panel on Wednesday. “I wish you the best of luck in future endeavors.”