National Awards

Each year the Air & Space Forces Association is proud to honor the outstanding achievements of men and women throughout the United States Air Force, United States Space Force, government, academia, and the aerospace industry*. The accomplishments of these incredible Airmen, Guardians, and Civilians supporting their respective services are a shining example of a total commitment to excellence when reaching for the ultimate in performance.


AFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the advancement of aerospace power throughout their lifetimes. AFA ensures that great accomplishments of the past continue to be recognized and continue to inspire our airmen now and in the future. These awards are presented at national AFA events including the Air, Space & Cyber Conference and the AFA Warfare Symposium.

The 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include:

  • Dr. Paul Kaminski
  • Pioneers of Red Flag, presented to Lt. Gen. Glen “Wally” Moorhead, USAF (Ret.)


Group shot of the 2023 Outstanding Airmen of the Year with their spouses, partners, and parents posing with U.S. Air Force leadership, Air & Space Forces Association leadership, and leaders of industry partners.

The Air & Space Forces Association recognizes 12 outstanding enlisted Airmen for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements during our annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Washington, D.C. The AFA Outstanding Airmen of the Year (OAY) program was initiated at AFA’s 10th Annual National Conference, held in New Orleans in 1956, and uses the same criteria as the Department of the Air Force Outstanding Airmen of the Year award.

We are pleased to recognize the Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2023:


2023 National Aerospace Award Recipients

H. H. Arnold Award
For the most significant contribution by a military member to national defense 
Gen. Glen VanHerck

W. Stuart Symington Award
For the most significant contribution by a civilian to national defense
The Honorable Frank Kendall

John R. Alison Award
For the most outstanding contribution by industrial leadership to national defense
Neal & Linden Blue

Neal and Linden Blue accept the 2023 AFA Alison Award for their pioneering innovations in the field of sensor-shooter UAVs and lifetime dedication to national defense.

O’Malley Space Visionary Leadership Award
For the most outstanding contribution by leadership to national defense space operations and missions 
Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton

Citation of Honor
For the dedicated service and contributions to national defense over a sustained period of time
Gen. (ret.) Philip Breedlove


Members of the 437th Airlift Wing receive the 2023 BAVA Award recognizing their meritorious service providing humanitarian and disaster relief in Pakistan. They conducted the first U.S. mission into Begum Nusrat Bhutto Airport Sukkar since 20210, navigating an unfamiliar and difficult airfield in order to provide lifesaving aide to more than 33 million Pakistanis.

*Nominations for AFA National Air & Space Awards are solicited from the United States Air Force, United States Space Force, members and leaders of AFA, the aerospace industry, and U.S. citizens or organizations which have a deep interest in aerospace activities.