Significant Contributions Service Award

Major General I.B. Holley Award

Created in 2007, the Major General I.B. Holley Award recognizes an individual who has made sustained, significant contributions to the documentation of Air Force and Space Force history during a lifetime of service. The Award’s inaugural presentation was to Major General I.B. Holley as a tribute to his decades of assistance, support, and encouragement to military historians.

Throughout the years, Major General Holley served as a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He taught many courses on Military History, the History of Technology, and similar subjects at Duke University beginning in 1947. Over the course of six decades, Holley wrote numerous books, scholarly papers, reviews, and critiques and demonstrated professional interests in various historical subjects, including the American Highway Revolution, Air Weapons Development and Acquisition, and Intellectual History.

Holley received the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1989. Well known for his service work, Holley inspired an effort by Duke scholars in 2004 to donate scholarly books, textbooks, and journal articles to Iraqi university and college libraries, which suffered damage in the second Gulf War and previously under Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Featured Award Winner

Dr. Benjamin S. Lambeth

Dr. Benjamin S. Lambeth has been one of the most informed and prolific observers of military affairs for the past several decades. Since 2011, he has been a nonresident senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C.  Prior to that time, he served for 37 years at the RAND Corporation.  He previously worked in the Office of National Estimates at the Central Intelligence Agency, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and at the Institute for Defense Analyses.  From 1970 to 1973, he was a Graduate Associate of the Center for International Affairs and a Teaching Fellow in Government at Harvard University, from which he later earned his doctoral degree in political science.

A civil-rated pilot, Dr. Lambeth has flown or flown in more than 40 different types of fighter, attack, and jet trainer aircraft with the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and with eight foreign air forces worldwide. He also attended the USAF’s Tactical Fighter Weapons and Tactics Course and Combined Force Air Component Commander Course, the Aerospace Defense Command’s Senior Leaders’ Course, and portions of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor’s Course. In 1988, he received initial qualification training and a front-seat checkout in the F/A-18 Hornet. In 2002, he was elected an honorary member of the Order of Daedalians.

In 2008, Dr. Lambeth was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve an eight-year term as a member of the Board of Visitors of Air University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Air Force Association, the U.S. Naval Institute, the Association of Naval Aviation, and the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association. He also previously served on the editorial advisory boards of Air and Space Power Journal and Strategic Studies Quarterly.

He is the author of dozens of publications, including The Transformation of American Air Power (Cornell University Press, 2000), which won the Air Force Association’s Gill Robb Wilson Award for Arts and Letters in 2001. He also wrote Russias Air Power in Crisis (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999); NATOs Air War for Kosovo (RAND, 2001); Mastering the Ultimate High Ground: Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space (RAND, 2003); Air Power Against Terror: America’s Conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom (RAND, 2005); Air Operations in Israel’s War Against Hezbollah (RAND, 2011); The Unseen War: Allied Air Power and the Takedown of Saddam Hussein (Naval Institute Press, 2013); and Airpower in the War against ISIS (Naval Institute Press, 2021).


Past Holley Award Recipients

  • 2022: Col Phillip S. Meilinger, USAF, (Ret). Ph.D.
  • 2021: Daniel L. Haulman, Ph.D.
  • 2020: No Award Given
  • 2019: R. Cargill Hall
  • 2018: Lt. Gen. John L. “Jack” Hudson
  • 2017: Mr. Keith Ferris
  • 2016: Dr. Mark A. Clodfelter
  • 2015: Dr. Richard P. Hallion
  • 2014: Col. Walter J. Boyne
  • 2013: Mr. Jacob Neufeld
  • 2012: No Award Given
  • 2011: Mr. Joseph Caver
  • 2010: Dr. Alan Gropman
  • 2009: Mr. Herman S. Wolk
  • 2008: Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Hurley, USAF (Ret)
  • 2007: Maj. Gen. (Distinguished Professor Emeritus) I. B. Holley, Jr, USAF (Ret)