Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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2018 Fall e-newsletter

Current Happenings

2018 ACA Convention Registration is Open

The ACA is planning another fun annual convention this year on December 6th - 9th, including the Fish Fry, Heritage Seminar, Annual ACA Business Meeting, Golf Tournament, and our annual Awards Banquet. 

Please take a moment to look over the 2018 Schedule of Events. Take note, some times and venues for events have changed so read through the entire schedule to make your plans accordingly. The ACA Board of Directors, staff, and all the volunteers look forward to seeing you this December!

2018 ACA Election Ballot

ACA members have the opportunity to vote in the 2018 ACA Election Ballot. This year we ask you to vote for the following positions on the ACA Board: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and three (3) Board of Director positions. Click here to open a PDF file to cast your vote. Email your completed ballot to member@aircommando.org.

Commando Cash a Win-Win for ACA and You!

Commando Cash is back and ready to give a lot of money to some very lucky Air Commandos! We have given away $42,000 over the last 7 years! Every member has a chance to win, even the previous 35 winners!

The 8th Annual Commando Cash Raffle is available online for your convenience, click here.

Suggested donations are 1 for $20 or 6 for $100. Drawings will be held at the annual convention, during the Fish Fry on Saturday, December 8, 2018. You need not be present to win.

Hall of Fame

Air Commando Hall of Fame Inducts TSgt John A. Chapman
Over 800 people attended the Air Commando Hall of Fame banquet honoring Medal of Honor recipient TSgt John A. Chapman this past October. It was a wonderful evening and we couldn't have done it without the dedicated volunteers from the Air Commando community, AFSOC and all who attended the banquet.

The ACA is now in full swing preparing for our next big event, this year's annual convention. We hope you join us this December 6th-9th for all our events taking place in the Fort Walton Beach, Florida area.

Air Commando Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2018 Inductees:
• Col (Ret) William D. Andersen
• CMSgt (Ret) Tom L. Baker
• CMSgt (Ret) Thomas G. Green
• Col (Ret) Mark S. Race
• CMSgt (Ret) John W. Varner, Jr.

These five Air Commandos will be recognized for their outstanding life-time achievements during the Air Commando Association's Annual Awards Banquet on 7 Dec 2018. Registration is open, click here for details and to sign up for events.

ACA Team SpectreWay to go ACA Team Spectre! 2nd Place winners in the 2018 Big Green Egg Cookoff. For the third year in a row, Esterline Defense Technologies, Pioneer Technologies, and Living Right Reality have sponsored an ACA team and won in this fun and competitive cook off. Thank you Joe DeCarlis, Mike Agin, and the entire team for your tireless commitment and generosity. The cash prize is donated to the Air Commando Foundation.

Shown in photo: (L-R) Major Cody Sweat, Brad Bowman, Krista Bowman, Brent (last name on request), Tara DeCarlis, Joe DeCarlis, Angela Maberry, and Jeff Maberry is kneeling next to honorary Air Commando “Cairo”, she cares for a wounded warrior.

Air Commando Association / Boeing Internship

We have an excellent opportunity for a spouse, a son, or a daughter of an active duty, retired, or veteran of AFSOC (this includes guard and reserve). Boeing Fort Walton Beach will have one paid intern in the engineering or avionics discipline this 2019 summer.

Please see the eligibility criteria and application.

Air Commando Association Charles Hicks Scholarships

We are still accepting scholarship applications for the 2018 ACA Charles Hicks Scholarships, please see scholarships for a PDF of the application. The 2018 deadline has been extended until November 30, 2018.

ACA Web Site Updates

We've updated our "Job Opportunities" page recently with brand new positions available with Hoplite, SOCOM, and other industry partners. Click here for more details.

As a reminder to all our members, while we continue to work on our new website we ask all updates for a member's contact information such as mailing address, phone, or email be sent to our ACA headquarters at info@aircommando.org


Air Commando Association,
I apologize for how delayed this note of thanks is, but I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your aid following the passing of my husband Chris. During this unimagineable time, I'm really thankful that the military commuity is so supportive in caring for it's own. Thank you!

Ashley Cochrane
Navarre, FL


Dear ACA,
I just want to express my appreciation to the team who worked on Ms. Lily Harvell’s Veterans Administration claim. After TSgt Sean Harvell, a highly decorated Combat Control Team (CCT) member passed away due to combat related disabilities, the VA disapproved Sean’s daughter Lily’s VA benefits. However, after inquiry by the ACA/ACF’s Mr. Bill Rone, both Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and Representative Alan Lowenthal of California swung into action and assisted the process.
In just a few weeks, the team, led by Erica Brown of Congressman Gaetz's office was able to unlock the VA’s negative decision and swing the hammer into position for a positive outcome for Lily. If not for the involvement of Sean’s former employers, retired USMC Col Christian Veeris and former USAF Capt Ben Self, the initial outcome would still stand.
It was amazing watching the progress work across the board and it is impressive to witness the care and concern our team maintains for our teammate’s loved ones. Due to a group of concerned veterans who reached out to the ACA/ACF Board, and one of the members reached into his congressional connections, we were able to fast track this event ending in a positive outcome. Mission Success!

Michael Wright, CMSgt, USAF (Ret)
Trustee, Air Commando Foundation


Dear Col (Ret) Dennis Barnett,
Thank you very much for your contribution to the Gathering of Eagles Foundation. Because of donations like yours, we were able to send 52 students, grades 5-12, to the National Flight Academy, increasing their interest in STEM and Aviation careers.

Gathering of Eagles Foundation


Former Air Commando Here
When the Air Commando Group was formed again in 1961, I was one of the original members arriving at Eglin Auxiliary #9 in early June 1961 from Travis AFB, CA.. At the time I was an Airman First Class (A1C) Loadmaster. The following year (1962) my aircrew deployed for Vietnam, on one of the C-47's. While at Hurlburt I was a flight examiner loadmaster on the C-46 and C-47. Upon returning from Vietnam I was discharged and joined the AF Reserve at McClellan AFB, CA, as a full time Air Reserve Technician (ART) on C-119's, later C-124's and last the C-130's. I retired in April 1981 as a Chief Master Sergeant. Now reside in Carson City, NV. If any of the original group from the early 60's are active ACA members, I'd very much like to hear from them.

Jesse Roberts, CMS, USAF Ret.



Jim Boney Condolences

Dear ACA,
We are all so very saddened about the passing away of Jim Boney. I give all of you and Jim's family my complete solidarity and deepest condolences. Jim was a wonderful person and very bright. Jim was very good in getting things done. While the last time I was in beautiful Fort Walton Beach was many years ago, I am always with all of you in the ACA in spirit, and I wish you the very best. Again, my deepest sympathies and total support to you and Jim Boney's family.

Warmest greetings from Cartagena, Colombia, amigos, Steve Salisbury 


Please pass on my condolences to Kay. Jim was a great friend who always kept me smiling and working thru hard times. He is missed sorely.

Daniel d'Errico


Air Commando Foundation Donation

I was so moved by your work, I felt compelled to send a donation.
Keep up the great work.

J.B. Cobb (Brig Gen, USAF, Ret)


SLS18 Video by 1 SOW Public Affairs
We are deeply grateful to each of you for your support and efforts for our just-completed JROTC Summer Leadership School 2018. This past week has been an amazing effort by an amazing team of active duty, reserve, retired and civilian professionals willing to give of their time, talent, knowledge and faith to invest in our young cadets. Our profound thanks for your personal efforts to improve the lives and futures of our cadets, and invest in our SLS program.

Below is a link to a cool SLS18 video made by A1C Caleb Pavao, 1 SOW/PA 

God Bless you and all our cadets,
Col (Ret) Ken Rodriguez 


George Michael Crawford
George Michael “Mike” Crawford passed away on June 1, 2018 at the age of 74. He was born on June 21, 1943 in Richmond, KY to George Crawford and Beulah Hall. Mike graduated from Madison Central High School, received a Bachelors of Education (with emphasis on Speech and Drama) from the University of Kentucky and later received a Masters of Sociology from Pepperdine University.
He proudly served as a pilot in the US Air Force from 1967 through 1979 (active) and 1979 through 1988 (reserve) and was honorably discharged at the rank of Major. He was stationed in several places, including Pleiku, Vietnam with the 9th Special Operations Squadron from July 1968 to June 1969. He flew C-47 support for Psywar and Moonshine missions for Special Forces. Mike was later stationed at Beale AFB with the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (flying KC-135 jet escorts for the SR-71). He was a flight instructor on the KC-135 and T-38, and crew training officer for the SR-71/U-2 program. He was awarded 18 medals and commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart for actions that occurred in March 1969.
He was a member of the American Legion China Post #1, the Air Commando Association, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
After his military service, he became a flight instructor for FedEx in Memphis, TN, training pilots on the DC-10.
He is survived by his daughters Dana Crawford and Cecilia Barr.
He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on October 4th, 2018.


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Copyright © 2018 Air Commando Association, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: Air Commando Association, P.O. Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0007 



ACAOnline features everything Air Commando Association, from membership signup forms, event registration, photos of all ACA events, Air Commando Foundation news and fund raisers, Corporate Partner information, Air Commando Journal archives, even the Commando Store. Our list of board of directors, the Air Commando Hall of Fame inductees, and lots more can be found on this web site. We hope you take a few minutes and check out all that we offer to members and the community at large, and let us know if you have any questions by contacting us at info@aircommando.org.

Contact Information

Air Commando Association
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0007

Street Address: 2502 Highway 98 W, Mary Esther, FL 32569

Phone: 850-581-0099 Fax: 850-581-8988
Email:  Click here