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Find Out What's Been Happening

AFPAAA Updates

Here are some updates on association developments or news about AFPAAA members. Click or tap on a headline below for more details.

Former SAF/PA Director BGen Ed Robertson To Be Buried on Flag Day...

BGen Hallie Roberston, better known to those who knew and admired him as Ed, died Friday, May 12 after a long illness. The former SAF/PA director had dealt with multiple health issues over the past few years and had been under hospice care since January.

Gen Robertson was SAF/PA director from October 1989 to May 1992. Before his tour at SAF/PA, Gen Robertson had been the PA special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and then the PA director at Tactical Air Command headquarters.

You can read Gen Robertson's obituary here.

He will be laid to rest at the Cape Canaveral National Military Cemetery on Wednesday, June 14 (Flag Day) at 10:00 AM Eastern time.

To learn more about one of the PA career field's best, read Gen Robertson’s oral history here and his official Air Force biography here.

Gen Robertson's family has asked that those who wish to honor his memory make a donation to the Disabled Veterans of America.

Last Flight Out — Dick Cole Recounts A Mission Under Fire...

Recently, AFPAA board member — and association newsletter editor — Dick Cole was invited to speak at a PA career field webinar on his experience as an enlisted Airman documenting the final military evacuation flights out of Saigon — hours before its fall to the North Vietnamese Army on April 30, 1975.

In this gripping account of a mission under fire, marked by chaos and confusion, Dick recounted the many challenges he faced, and, given recent history, imparted PA lessons learned that are just as valuable today as they were then.

Dick served as an enlisted aeromedical specialist and wing historian and a commissioned B-52G electronic warfare officer/instructor before finishing his career as a public affairs officer, with service at SAF/PA and as the Director of Public Affairs for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He has also been an adjunct professor for speech and journalism at the University of Maryland and has authored two books on aviation subjects, while contributing photos to 19 others.

Dick’s participation in this SAF/PA hosted webinar is a great example of the value AFPAA brings to the entire PA career field.

Below is the video recording of his presentation. It runs 49 minutes, and is well worth your time. (Please note that there will not be any audio until approximately 40 seconds after you press the play button.)

Former SAF/PA Director Lt Gen Walter "Woody" Hogle Passes Away...

Lt General Walter S. Hogle Jr. - the Director of SAF/PA from November 1992 to June 1994 - passed away on April 1, 2023. Gen Hogle, better known as “Woody”, was 78. He died after a sixteen month battle with lung cancer.

A command pilot with experience flying both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, Gen Hogle served as the Commander, 15th Air Force, Travis AFB, California before retiring from the Air Force in 2001.

Gen Hogle’s official Air Force biography is here, and you can read his obituary here.

A memorial service will be held at Patriots Colony in Williamsburg, Virginia on June 8, 2023, with an additional service at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined.

2022 Public Affairs Awards Winners Announced...

SAF/PA Director Mr. Jerry Renne has announced the winners of the 2022 Air Force Public Affairs Awards for Communication Excellence, including the winner of the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award, sponsored by the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. AFPAAA joins Mr. Renne in congratulating the winners of these prestigious awards.

Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas was the "Best of the Best" in 2022. Mr. Raimondi was recognized as the outstanding enlisted, officer, or civilian member who best demonstrated professional excellence and contributed significantly to the effectiveness of the Department of the Air Force public affairs mission. In honor of his achievement, AFPAAA will present Mr. Raimondi with the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award trophy, a $1,000 check, and a lifetime membership in the association.

In addition to recognizing Mr. Raimondi as the "Best of the Best", Mr. Renne announced the individual and team winners of the 2022 awards. Military winners of individual awards are eligible for the Air and Space Recognition Ribbon, and civilians are eligible for the Air Force Recognition lapel pin.

The individual award winners are:

(AFGSC) Outstanding Communication Airman:
SrA Colin A. Hollowell, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas.

(AFPAA) Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer:
TSgt Anthony C. Kuhn, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas.

(AFSOC) Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer:
MSgt Cody H. Ramirez, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

(ACC) Capt. Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer:
Capt Sarah J. Johnson, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.

(AFPAA) Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer:
Lt Col Karl J. Wiest, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas

(AMC) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category I:
Ms. Abigail A. Cole, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

(AFPAA) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category II:
Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas.

(HAF) Outstanding Communication Civilian Category III:
Ms. Laurel P. Falls, SAF/PA Media Operations Division, Pentagon.

(AFPAA) Brig Gen James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best:
Mr. Kenneth J. Raimondi, 3d Audiovisual Squadron, JBSA-Lackland

The team award winners are:

(ACC) Brig Gen Harry J. Dalton, Jr. Award for the most effective unit-level communication program:
57th Wing Public Affairs, Nellis AFB, Nev.

(AFGSC) Maj Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness:
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs, FE Warren AFB, Wyo.

(USAFE) Brig Gen Ronald T. Rand Award for Best Crisis Communication:
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Spangdahlem AB, Germany.

(USAFE) Best Innovation:
Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Public Affairs, Ramstein AB, Germany.

Meet 2022's Best of the Best — Ken Raimondi...

From: January 2023 News and Notes

Ken Raimondi, lead producer and director for the 3d Audiovisual Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland has been named this year’s winner of the AFPAAA Brig, Gen. James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best Award.

As the award winner, Raimondi will have his airfare and hotel paid for by the association to attend the 2023 annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., a $1,000 cash award, an engraved trophy and an AFPAAA life membership. Additionally, Raimondi’s name will be added to the plaque with the names of all of the award winners on permanent display in the Brig. Gen. H.J. Dalton, Jr., Conference Room in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (Public Affairs).

Raimondi was selected the most outstanding public affairs person from the nominated bandsmen, broadcasters, multimedia and public affairs specialists.

Ken Raimondi

Raimondi is responsible for producing high-quality staff and major command video productions. He works independently with senior level officials in determining communications goals, target audiences, and distribution methods for audiovisual productions. This includes writing scripts, shooting video, and editing the products. He also produces live event broadcasts and directs crews of as many as 20 production personnel.

“I am incredibly honored and in all honesty, surprised to have won this award!” Raimondi said. “I've spent most of my career Public Affairs adjacent. I worked for AFN, Air Force Recruiting Service and the 3d Audiovisual Squadron. In each of these capacities, I've created products for Public Affairs efforts but only in recent years do I feel like I've had the opportunity to shape how those products are used. In that capacity, I have felt more empowered and seen more success than I ever had before. I hope that by earning this award, as a non-traditional PA, others in the enterprise feel empowered to use their expertise and knowledge to shape how and where their talents can be most effective for the Public Affairs mission.”

Raimondi was assigned as the lead producer and director in September 2022. Prior to that, he had been working as a producer/director with the 3d AVS for five years. He recently earned a Lonestar Emmy nomination for his work on a docuseries titled, “Basic.” (You can watch it here.)

He has earned multiple civilian of the year honors and was named a “Top Ten Outstanding Young American” by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

He served in the Air Force, leaving as a master sergeant. His distinguished military career includes being a two-time Levitow Award winner — once at Airman Leadership School and once in the Noncommissioned Officer Academy. He served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and served two years in the Republic of Korea.

His work while in uniform was recognized with multiple annual awards to include being named Air Force Recruiting Service’s top enlisted airman and competing for the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. He’s also won a number of Air Force and DoD Media Contest awards.

His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Thomas Edison State University and a master’s degree in fine arts in film from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts.

Six Recipients Earn First Dalton Scholarships...

The Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association has selected the first recipients of the Brig. Gen. H.J. Dalton Scholarship Program.

2022 is the inaugural year of the program and AFPAAA and General Dalton’s family are excited to assist scholarship recipients in improving their public affairs skills, furthering their career, and enhancing their value to the U.S. Air Force.

AFPAAA had originally budgeted for five $1,000 scholarships per year. However, the applicants in this first year of the program were so outstanding, the board approved all six Air Force PA members who applied. The six recipients are:

A1C Janae Masoner
Mass Communications Specialist, 139th Airlift Wing
Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Missouri

Maj (Lt Col select) Natassia Cherne
Deputy Commander, Air Force News Agency
Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph, Texas

Capt Victoria Wright
Public Affairs Officer, 87th Air Base Wing
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

SrA Joseph Morales
Mass Communications Specialist, 87th Air Base Wing
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

SSgt Haley Phillips
Public Affairs Specialist, 315th Airlift Wing
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina

CMSgt John Herrick
Senior Enlisted Advisor, 4th Combat Camera Squadron
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina

Chuck Merlo, chairman of AFPAAA's Dalton Scholarship Committee, said "We were very happy to see a mix of applicants that included active duty and Air National Guard, enlisted and officers. All received high praise from their supervisors for both their duty performance as well as their initiative to improve themselves on their own time."

Interested in applying for a Dalton Scholarship, or know someone deserving of consideration? You can learn more about the program's requirements and application procedures here. Information about the program is also contained in the August 2022 edition of the SAF/PA Quarterly Newsletter.

Applications for the 2023 program will be accepted from March 1st to May 31st, 2023.

Meet 2021's Best of the Best — Jennifer Green-Lachoney...

Almost a dozen years ago Jennifer Green-Lanchoney saw a job announcement to fill a student hire position in the Public Affairs office at Vandenberg Air Force Base. She applied and after being interviewed she was hired. Little did she know that this step would shape her new professional life.

Jennifer soon developed an appreciation for the career field and changed her college major to communications. Then, with the support of the PA chief and staff at Vandenberg, she was selected for the Air Force’s Palace Acquire Program.

Palace Acquire is an internship program for recent college graduates that provides an opportunity to get a foot in the door that could lead to a career in Air Force Public Affairs. Those in the Palace Acquire internship program serve 1.5 years at a wing and 1.5 years at major command Public Affairs offices. After her time at Vandenberg at wing level Jennifer went to Air Force Space Command Headquarters at Peterson AFB.

Jennifer K. Green-Lanchoney
Col Denny Davies, 86th AW/CV, presents the 2021 Best of the Best plaque and trophy to Jennifer.

Between the demands of the internship program, her husband’s military career, opportunities to move to various learning experience assignments, and her family, Jennifer had a very busy and full life.

From 2014 through 2020, when she settled into her current position at Ramstein as the GS-11 Chief of the 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Command Media Operations Section, Jennifer held multiple position in and out of the military. They included: Community Engagement Section Chief, Hanscom AFB; Research Program Publicity, Apogee Engineering LLC, United States Air Force Academy: Public Affairs Specialist, USDA Rural Development, Santa Maria, California, and Community Engagement Section Chief, Vandenberg AFB.

Has her career decision impacted Jennifer and her family?

“Being married to someone in the military takes a significant toll on a military spouse’s ability to stay on a stable career path. Because of both my husband’s career and my wish to keep our family together, I had to jump around a bit. I am extremely grateful for the experiences and positions I have held as they shaped my view of the Air Force and the world,” she observed.

“Military moves take a huge toll on a family. I like to think that moving and seeing the country and the world has made my five children more understanding and resilient, but it would be naive of me to think it hasn’t had an effect on them during their formative years. I am constantly impressed with how they have handled all the change and what great humans they have become.”

Jennifer’s assignment to Ramstein was fortuitous, “Once my husband retired from active duty (he now works for a tenant unit’s Inspector General at Ramstein) and I saw an opportunity to move my family overseas and take on a challenging position in Germany I jumped on it.”

Shortly after Jennifer arrived, Ramstein became one of the world’s major media centers as the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan began and rapidly and chaotically grew in intensity. Before they knew it, Jennifer and her team were handling a massive influx of national and international media covering what was now known as Operation Allies Refuge.

“Our biggest challenge was the sheer number of requests, emails, calls and the media waiting at our gates. The transparency afforded to Ramstein by USAFE and OSD was amazing,” she recalled.

“We were able to set the tone at the local level and respond authentically to media members from across the world. The information we shared shaped the public perception of thousands of people headed to the U.S., many for the first time. It was incredibly important that we got it right.”

In a six week span Jennifer led her team in an effort that supported 22 press conferences and 222 reporters from 53 outlets who conducted 151 interviews during 36 media visits. They also answered 156 queries related to OAR.

“It was a massive undertaking and it could not have been accomplished without the work done by the amazing leadership and team we have here at Ramstein, they deserve the credit as well for what we did” she said.

That effort was the key to Jennifer being selected by SAF/PA for the Brigadier General James W. Hart, Jr., Best of the Best Award as the top Air Force Public Affairs military or civilian practitioner for 2021.

Each year AFPAAA’s Best of the Best Award recognizes the top officer, civilian, or enlisted person in Air Force Public Affairs for professional excellence and significant contributions to the effectiveness of the Air Force mission. Funding for the award is provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. In addition to the trophy, each recipient receives a $1,000 check and a Life Membership in AFPAAA.

Four AFPAAA Members Receive Diverse Honors and Awards...

Mark Foutch

It was not a coincidence that July 29th was his 80th birthday and Mark Foutch Day in Olympia, Washington.

The Olympia City Council picked that date to honor Mark, an AFPAAA Lifetime Founder, for 35 years of service to the area as a community activist, neighborhood association president, member of the City Council, and the mayor of Olympia, as well as other civic activities.

Mark fell in love with Olympia while assigned to McChord AFB’s 25th Air Division in 1971-72. When he retired from the Air Force in 1985 he settled there. He joined his neighborhood association and had the opportunity to observe and interact with the City Council.

In 1991 he ran for the council and began his 16 year council membership, which included ten years as the council appointed Mayor Pro Tem and a four-year term as elected mayor.

Mark said that everything he was involved with during the 35 years was important but being Board President for the Association of Washington Cities while he was mayor was particularly significant.

“It added the opportunity for even more interaction and influence with state officials than being the capital city’s mayor and carried into my work with the National League of Cities, especially at the annual meetings in Washington, D.C., where we met with our senators and representatives to lobby on city issues,” Mark said.

As mayor he made ‘sister city’ trips to Japan and a Washington state trade mission to China and Hong Kong. His military career made him a logical choice to be Olympia’s liaison with Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“My wife, Janet Charles, thoroughly enjoyed being Olympia’s First Lady,” Mark recalled. “She went with me to as many as five events in a day in town, at JBLM, and meetings around the state and nation, as well as on overseas trips --none at taxpayer expense.”

Reflecting on a lengthy civic career that far exceeded his time in the Air Force, Mark observed. “The pay was nothing much but the ‘psychic income’ was terrific, and the IRS hasn’t figured out how to tax that yet.”

Bob McCullough

AFPAAA Life Member Bob McCullough has been elected to the Public Relations Society of America’s prestigious College of Fellows.

The College of Fellows is an honorary organization of PRSA. Bob and the twelve others elected for 2021 are among 350 Fellows within the 30,000 member PRSA. Selection as a Fellow recognizes an individual’s contribution in extraordinary ways to the advancement of the communications profession through proven accomplishment, leadership, and mentoring expertise.

An accredited member, Bob joined PRSA in 1983 and is a past president of PRSA’s San Antonio Chapter and the Texas Public Relations Association. His honors include three awards in the PRSA Silver Anvil competition and the Tex Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob had a 30 year active duty and reserve career in Public Affairs. His assignments included AIRMAN magazine and mobilization assistant to the Air Force News Agency’s commander. He retired in 2002 as a colonel.

In 2010, he joined the unique Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio, Texas. He is now communications director for Morgan’s Inspiration Initiative, a non-profit that coordinates planning, fundraising and communications for Morgan’s Wonderland and related ventures designed for the special-needs community and built for everyone’s enjoyment.

Before that Bob headed public relations for SeaWorld San Antonio and corporate communications for CPS Energy, greater San Antonio’s electricity and natural gas provider.

Ron Rand

“I’m humbled by this amazing hometown recognition and honored to be included with such distinguished generals. Hopefully, this bridge and park will inspire young Quincy men and women – today and tomorrow – to choose paths in life that include military service,” said AFPAAA Life Member Ron Rand.

He was among 18 general officers raised in the City of Quincy, Massachusetts enshrined in its new Generals Bridge and Park September 11.

The park in downtown Quincy has statues of its three highest ranking generals – Army Chief of Staff General James C. McConville, retired Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and retired General Gordon Sullivan, an Army chief of staff.

Ron has one of four busts in the park’s plaza. The other busts are of Massachusetts National Guard Major Generals Francis McGinn (Army) and Stephen Keefe (Air Force), and Air Force Major General Charles Sweeney, who piloted the B-29 in WW II that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

McConville, Dunford, McGinn, Sullivan, and Ron delivered remarks at the ceremony.

The names of the eleven other generals, dating back to the 1700s, including John Hancock, are engraved in the park’s commemorative stonework. The seven-foot bronze statues and the busts are by world-renowned sculptor Sergey Elanbekov.

Ron had a 32 year career in uniform, retiring as Director of Public Affairs. He became Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for communications and then senior vice president for communications of Lockheed Martin. He was the president and chief executive officer of The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation from 2014-2018 when he retired.

John Terino

John Terino has been selected by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of America (ICSA) for its 2021 Outstanding Service by a Volunteer Award.

The ICSA is the governing authority for all sailing competition by 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada.

The Outstanding Service by a Volunteer Award honors an individual who has volunteered their time, talent and resources to advance the interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.

He received the award for his work in behalf of his alma mater Fordham University’s sailing team. Shortly after the Fordham University Sailing Association was formed 20 years ago John, an AFPAAA Lifetime Founder, became secretary of its board of governors, a post he still holds.

He is responsible for the Association’s directory – keeping track of its more than 300 Fordham sailing alumni and benefactors that support the team. The directory is a vital tool in recruiting high school sailors and fund raising to help maintain the boats and equipment, and for travel and other team expenses.

As an undergraduate, he was commodore of the team in 1959-61 and a two-time letter recipient.

John’s name, as well as those of the 2021 College Sailors of the Year and this year’s other ICSA award recipients, will be added to those already in sailing’s hall of fame.

The ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame was established in 1969 and is in the Robert Crown Sailing Center at the United States Naval Academy.