Fact Sheets

THE THOMAS D. WHITE NATIONAL DEFENSE AWARD

 

BACKGROUND AND SYMBOLISM

 

Established March 1, 1962, by the United States Air Force Academy, this award is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

The award may be based on outstanding contributions to national security in any fields of endeavor including science, technology, leadership, management, national affairs, international affairs or a combination thereof.

The permanent Thomas D. White plaque is displayed in the academy's Arnold Hall, with the names of the annual winners inscribed thereon.  Each recipient will receive an appropriate individual award, certificate and citation.

ELIGIBILITY AND SELECTION

The Plans and Programs Office requests nominations from the USAFA Board of Visitors and Academy agencies in January.  Eligible nominees include US citizens who have contributed significantly to national defense and security in any field of endeavor (e.g., science, technology, leadership, national and/or international affairs).  Active duty military personnel and federal employees in active service are normally not eligible for consideration.  

The Thomas D. White Award Selection Committee evaluates the nominations and recommends selection to the Superintendent.  The award is typically presented during a formal ceremony, normally at the Academy in the fall.

RECIPIENTS OF THE THOMAS D. WHITE AWARD

1962 - Dr. Edward Teller, nuclear physicist and principal architect of the hydrogen bomb

1963 - Dr. Theodore von Karman, pioneer in the development of jet propulsion and rocket engines

1964 - The Honorable Carl Vinson, former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee

1965 - General Curtis E. LeMay, USAF, Retired, World War II commander in Europe and the Pacific, planner of the Berlin Airlift, and Air Force Chief of Staff

1966 - Mr. Clarence L. Johnson, former vice president of advanced development projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and designer of the F-104 and U-2 aircraft

1967 - Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle, USAF, Retired, former Chairman of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and World War II aviation hero

1968 - General Carl Spaatz, USAF, Retired, first Air Force Chief of Staff

1969 - Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, USAF, Retired, former Chief of the Air Staff and aviation pioneer

1970 - Dr. Charles Stark Draper, former vice director of the instrumentation laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1971 - Mr. Igor I. Sikorsky, pioneer aircraft designer, advisor and consultant to the United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp

1972 - General Nathan F. Twining, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

1973 - General Bernard A. Schriever, USAF, Retired, former Commander, Air Force Systems Command

1974 - General Lauris Norstad, USAF, Retired, former Supreme Allied Commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

1975 - Senator John C. Stennis, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

1976 - General John D. Ryan, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff

1977 - Mr. Bob Hope, international entertainer and humanitarian

1978 - Senator Barry M. Goldwater, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

1979 - General George S. Brown, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

1980 - The Honorable Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr., former Secretary of the Air Force

1981 - The Honorable David Packard, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and a founder of the Hewlett Packard Electronics Corporation

1982 - The Honorable Melvin Laird, former Secretary of Defense

1983 - General Russell Dougherty, USAF, Retired, former Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Air Command

1984 - Senator John G. Tower, former Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

1985 - General Theodore R. Milton, USAF, Retired, former U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee

1986 - Senator Stuart Symington, first Secretary of the Air Force

1987 - Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

1988 - The Honorable Caspar W. Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense

1989 - President Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States

1990 - Admiral William J. Crowe, USN, Retired, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

1991 - General Larry D. Welch, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff

1992 - Dr. Malcolm R. Currie, former chief executive officer, Hughes Aircraft Company

1993 - Lieutenant General Brent C. Scowcroft, USA, Retired, former National Security Advisor

1994 - President George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States

1995 - Lieutenant General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., USAF, Retired, Tuskegee Airmen leader, member and Chairman of the Academy Board of Visitors

1996 - General Charles A. Gabriel, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff

1997 - Senator John McCain, member, Senate Armed Services Committee

1998 - General Colin L. Powell, USA, Retired, former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

1999 - Senator Strom Thurmond, Chairman Emeritus and former Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

2000 - Congressman Floyd D. Spence, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

2001 - Congressman C.W. Bill Young, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee

2002 - The Honorable Norman R. Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

2003 - The Honorable Duncan Hunter, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

2004 - Colonel John R. Boyd, USAF, Retired

2005 - General Richard B. Myers, USAF, Retired

2006 - General Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF, Retired, former Air Force Chief of Staff

2007 - Dr. William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense

 

Current as of February 2008