Lifetime Service Award

General Carl “Tooey” Spaatz Award

The General Carl “Tooey”  Spaatz Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions in their lifetime to the making of Air Force or Space Force history.

General Carl “Tooey” Spaatz was the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He was one of the Air Force Historical Foundation’s founders in 1953 and served as its first President. One of the giants in the history of Air Power, Spaatz flew in combat in the First World War, shooting down three enemy aircraft. In 1929, General Spaatz, along with a crew that included General Ira C. Eaker, set an important flight endurance record of 150 hours and 40 minutes, which was unprecedented in the early days of aviation. During World War II, he commanded the Allied air campaign against the Nazis. In the Pacific Theater, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place under Spaatz’s command.

Featured Award Winner

Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms, USAF (Ret)

Susan Jane Helms is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant general and NASA astronaut. She was the commander, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), and commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Helms was a crew member on five Space Shuttle missions and was a resident of the International Space Station (ISS) for over five months in 2001. While participating in ISS Expedition 2, she and Jim Voss conducted an 8-hour and 56-minute spacewalk, the world record for the longest spacewalk. Helms officially retired from the United States Air Force in 2014.

Susan Helms graduated in the first USAFA class that included women in 1980 and was the first military woman in space (Sally Ride was the first American woman in space). As a member of Expedition 2, she became the first woman to complete a long-duration mission on the space station, a 167-day flight between March and August of 2001. She had previously flown to the space station during STS-101, making her the first woman to visit the station twice. Helms currently serves as a member of the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center (2014-2016). She is also a board member of the Association of Space Explorers, and has established her own consulting company, Orbital Visions, LLC, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Helms was elected to the Board of Trustees of The Aerospace Corporation on March 9, 2017.

Among Helms’ many awards are the Gen. James V. Hartinger Award, Thomas D. White Space Award for Outstanding Contributions to Space, Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award, Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004. She was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018.

Adding to her extensive list of “firsts,” Lt. Gen. Helms is the first woman to receive the AFHF Carl A. Spaatz Award, a fitting tribute to a woman of many firsts and a USAF spaceflight pioneer.

Past Spaatz Award Recipients

  • 2022: Gen. Gregory S. “Speedy” Martin, USAF (Ret)
  • 2021: Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, USSF
  • 2020: No Award Given
  • 2019: Gen. John P. Jumper, USAF (Ret)
  • 2018: Mr. Sherman N. Mullin
  • 2017: General Richard B. Myers, USAF (Ret)
  • 2016: Dr. Donald B. Rice
  • 2015: Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret)
  • 2014: Gen. Lloyd W. Newton, USAF (Ret)
  • 2013: Gen. John A. Shaud, USAF (Ret)
  • 2012: No Award Given
  • 2011: Lt. Gen. James Clapper, USAF (Ret), Director of National Intelligence
  • 2010: Gen. Larry D. Welch, USAF (Ret)
  • 2009: Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford, USAF (Ret)
  • 2008: Maj. Gen. John R. Alison, USAF (Ret)
  • 2007: Gen. David C. Jones, USAF (Ret)