May 15, 2023

Overview and History:

The constitution of the Freedom Through Vigilance Association (FTVA), hereinafter referred to as the Association, states that the objectives are to foster continued awareness of the mission and the accomplishments of the USAF, in general, and the USAFSS/ESC/AFIC/AIA/AF ISR Agency/24th Air Force/25th Air Force, and past or present military and civilian personnel of 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) in particular. Additionally, the Association provides members a forum for desirable social, educational, and humanitarian services.

Fulfillment of these objectives takes many forms. One program which promotes the awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the USAF and USAFSS/ESC/AFIC/AIA/AF ISR Agency/24 AF/25 AF, and 16 AF (Air Forces Cyber), hereinafter referred to as the Heritage Organizations, is to recognize those who have served the Heritage Organizations with great honor, distinction, and excellence, far above and beyond that expected by virtue of grade or position.

The USAFSS/ESC Association, the predecessor of the Freedom Through Vigilance Association, introduced the program in 1983 when “The Founders” of the USAFSS were identified and recognized. In subsequent years, the association identified and recognized both individuals and “Distinguished Alumni” from among those who served with distinction during a specified decade (e.g., the Fifties, the Sixties, etc.).

Subsequently, the program became the Hall of Honor (HoH) Program and recognized individuals of any period who served the Heritage Organizations with great distinction. While it is clearly understood that there were different criteria for past selections, to facilitate understanding and preclude confusion all individuals previously selected – Founders, Distinguished Alumni, and Hall of Honor inductees – are referred to in this document as “Hall of Honor” or “HoH” members.

This charter formalizes the Hall of Honor Program in a single document, states its purpose, articulates the policy and eligibility criteria, and establishes selection procedures. Furthermore, this charter’s intent is to ensure that the Hall of Honor Program integrity is not compromised, that the criteria for selection remains rigorous, and that only the “best of the best” are inducted.


To identify, recognize, honor, and provide lasting tribute to those individuals who served with great distinction and brought recognition and honor to the Department of Defense, USAF, the Heritage Organizations, and themselves while assigned to those units with lineage to the USAFSS, ESC, AFIC, AIA, AF ISR Agency, 24 AF, 25 AF or 16 AF.

Criteria for Nomination and Selection:

Served honorably and with distinction while assigned within the Heritage Organizations.

Achieved an outstanding record of accomplishment by making significant, distinctive, and extraordinary contributions to mission success; demonstrating great acts of courage or bravery; or, saving the lives of others through professional skills and/or acts of courage.

Former members of the Heritage Organizations are eligible, as follows:

Former uniformed personnel, being otherwise eligible, must have retired from active duty and completed their assignment(s) within the Heritage Organizations. Only those accomplishments achieved while assigned to the Heritage Organizations will be considered, unless the individual was in a position of great responsibility which allowed him/her to make significant, material contributions to the Heritage Organizations’ mission success through policy making, resource allocation, mission alignment, etc.

Those personnel who continue their association with the Heritage Organizations as Department of Defense civilians following retirement from active duty are eligible; however, consideration will only be given to accomplishments during the period of active duty. If the nominator elects to include information from both Active Duty military and DoD civilian careers, the nominee must be retired from both and completed their assignments within the Heritage Organizations. Exceptions to the retirement requirement for both uniformed and civilian nominees will be considered with justification and at the discretion of the selection board.

Career DoD civilians must be either retired from civilian service or have concluded their assignment(s) in the Heritage Organizations. As previously stated, exceptions will be considered with justification and at the discretion of the selection board. Only those accomplishments achieved while assigned to the Heritage Organizations will be considered, unless the individual was in a position of great responsibility which allowed him/her to make significant, material contributions to the Heritage Organizations’ mission success through policy making, resource allocation, mission alignment, etc.

Potential candidates for nomination would include officers, enlisted, and DoD civilians who received Department of Defense, Air Force-level and/or Heritage Organizations-level recognition and/or awards; recipients of major medals (e.g., Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Airman’s Medal) and civilian service awards; recognized acts of bravery, lifesaving, and other awards.


Only HoH members may serve as members of the HoH Selection Committee to select candidates for HoH induction.

HoH nominations will be solicited throughout the year through the association website, newsletter, and by letter.  Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year, however, the HoH chairman will annually determine a specific deadline (usually in June or July) approximately three months prior to the annual FTVA/16AF reunion activities. The specific suspense date will be announced in the FTVA Remain In Touch newsletter upon determination of the annual reunion dates.

Nominations may be submitted by mail, but preferably by e-mail, addressed as indicated in the newsletter and on the association’s website.  If submitted by mail, the address should include “Attn: HoH Committee.”

Nominations must be completed using the format specified on the attached example and on the association’s web site.  Nominations are limited to only one single page, front and back, using Times New Roman or Calibri, 12 Font. Nominations not meeting the criteria will be returned to the submitter. 

If not selected earlier, nominations will be considered for a total of 3 consecutive years.

Individuals may be nominated twice. Third and subsequent nominations for an individual will not be considered unless the committee determines that previous nominations did not contain a true characterization of the individual’s contributions; and therefore, the previous nominations should not be considered valid. In such cases, only the updated nomination will be considered by the Selection Committee.

Anyone having direct knowledge or documentation of a potential nominee’s accomplishments may submit a nomination. Direct knowledge includes personal observations, research, performance reports, award citations, certificates, DD214, or similar official documents. Self-nominations or immediate family nominations are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Process:

Each year, the HoH Program Chairman will appoint a Selection Committee consisting of six to nine members (including the chairman), each of whom must be a HoH member. The chairman may choose to solicit the input of other HoH members via e-mail to be used by the committee in their final selection process. The chairman may also choose to solicit committee members locally or from outside of the local San Antonio area; however, any travel required by any committee member will be at their own expense. Every effort will be made to ensure committee members possess backgrounds representative of those nominated.

The Selection Committee will determine the eligibility of all nominees and evaluate the eligible nominations, including those carried over from the previous year.  The Committee will rank all nominations, from which a maximum of six may be selected for induction in the Hall of Honor, with two additional nominees identified as alternates. There may be fewer selected, depending on the number and quality of the submissions.

Exceptions to the maximum of six inductees may include unusual circumstances such as courageous and extraordinary actions during peacetime or combat, national emergencies, or natural disasters.

There could also be years that fewer, or no, submissions are selected for induction due to the quality of the submissions not satisfying the criteria for membership.

The HoH Program Chairman will maintain the rank order listing of the selected candidates. Should one or more of the selected individuals decline induction or be determined to be otherwise ineligible, the HoH Program Chairman will submit the next ranked nominee(s) for induction with the coordination of the Selection Committee.

The HoH Program Chairman will inform the FTVA Board of Directors of the individuals selected for induction. Board approval is assumed unless a “for cause” issue is presented. A “for cause” issue is defined as derogatory information (to include criminal actions, civil judgements, etc.) unknown by the Selection Committee during their evaluation which would result in the individual being ineligible for induction into the HoH. “For cause” issues will be resolved by the Board of Directors and the HoH Program Chairman.

Following Board review, the HoH Program Chairman will send a letter of notification to the 16 AF Commander listing the names of selectees with biographical information for each nominee.

Notification of Candidates for Induction:

HoH Program Chairman will send a congratulatory letter to each candidate to notify them of their selection for induction into the HoH.

The letter(s) will contain information and instructions regarding the date and time of the induction ceremony, agenda and sequence of events, requirements for photographs, and requests for information regarding guests attending the induction ceremony and the dinner/dance event.

Presentation of Awards:

The HoH Induction Ceremony is a major component of the association’s sponsored 16 AF Annual Reunion which is usually conducted between the last weekends of September and October.

The HoH Induction Ceremony and attendant activities will be coordinated with the 16 AF’s liaison officer attached to the association’s Board of Directors. The liaison officer will conduct detailed coordination within the 16 AF and the 16 AF Commander, who normally participates in the Induction Ceremony.

Each inductee will be presented with a personal plaque during the Induction Ceremony. A master plaque recognizing all inductees will be displayed in the Hall of Honor at the 16 AF headquarters.

The association will provide each inductee with a distinctive name badge, identifying the individual as a HoH member.

Inductees will be honored during the Induction Ceremony and will be recognized during the Annual Meeting and the banquet event. The association will host each inductee and one guest at the banquet.  Inductees may invite additional guests to the banquet on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Lee Anthony
Freedom Through Vigilance Association
Hall of Honor Program Chairman

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