Emerald Coast Guardian, Eglin AFA
March 31, 2015

President's Notes
2015 started off with a bang and I am excited about the great work your Eglin AFA Chapter is doing, as well as the opportunities I see throughout the rest of 2015.  Thanks to Amy Gold, our VP for Communications, for revitalizing our quarterly newsletter, our Chapter Website ( and our Facebook page. 

I attended the Florida AFA State Winter Meeting in Orlando in February and the got some good cross flow from National and State AFA Leadership, as well as our fellow Florida Chapters.  Membership is a concern and AFA membership has been declining nationwide.  Eglin Chapter is no exception.  I’d ask you to consider recruiting one new member.  Total membership impacts the Association’s ability to “Advocate” for the US Air Force and a strong national defense.  Prospective members can enroll at  The new “E-membership” is an economical way to become a member of the team.  As you can also see from the first page of this newsletter, we are still short of a few Vice Presidents on our Executive Council.  Please email us at if you are interested in helping out.  We can do great things with a great team!

In this first quarter newsletter, you will read about a distinguished member of our chapter, Lt Gen Leroy Manor, who was awarded the French Legion of Honor by the representatives of the French government.  We also hosted our 5th Annual Fisher House 5K run, for Eglin’s Fisher House of the Emerald Coast. 

Looking forward to next quarter, we anticipate a very busy April.  We were asked by AFA National Headquarters and are busy planning to support an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Training Camp here at Eglin AFB in mid-April.  Maj Gen (ret) Kostelnick, our new Chairman of the Aerospace Education Foundation, will present a talk on "UAS on Leading Edge in Homeland Security,” April 29 at the Bayview Club (formerly the Officer’s Club) at Eglin AFB.  There are numerous other opportunities next quarter, so please read the newsletter to get more information. 

As one of the three AFA pillars of “Advocate, Educate and Support,” we continue our support of local students and teachers with our Education Recognition Night, scheduled for May 14 at the AF Armament Museum.  We are extremely excited to have CMSgt (ret) Roy Taylor as our guest speaker.  We have added some new scholarships, to include one in memory of Bill Holley, a career civil servant engineer at Eglin AFB whose passion for STEM led his family to create a scholarship in his name.   

We lost another great American, a great airman and a fine man when CMSgt of the Air Force (#9) Jim Binnicker passed away in March.  Some of the Chapter Officers and I had the privilege to attend the Memorial Celebration in honor of CMSgt Binnicker.  For those of you who knew him, two thoughts continue to guide me, “I did my best” and “The Mom rule.”  That we all should have an impact on the lives of those we touch like Jim Binnicker!

I hope to see you at one of the upcoming Chapter events.  Fly, Fight, Win!

Eddie McAllister

Retired Lieutenant General LeRoy Manor Awarded French Legion of Honor

On March 3rd, retired Lieutenant General LeRoy Manor was awarded the French Legion of Honor.  He was one of 18 American Veterans of World War II who received the honor. The medals were presented by the Consul General of France, the honorable Philippe Létrilliart, serving in Miami, Florida, and General
Bernard Commins, Chief of the French Delegation to USCENTCOM. Among the veterans recognized was USSOCOM’s own, Lt General Leroy Manor, who flew in the following French campaigns: Invasion of Normandy, the Liberation of Northern France, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Rhineland.  The Legion of Honor was created in 1802 by Emperor Napoleon and recognizes exceptional service to France. On the 60th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, France granted the Legion of Honor to all American veterans who fought on French soil in WWII.  Mr. Létrilliart’s remarks expressly thanked the veterans present stating that he knows there were many others not present who sacrificed their lives for the freedom France enjoys today.

The Legion of Honour, or, in full, the National Order of the Legion of Honour (FrenchOrdre national de la Légion d'honneur)[1] is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France.

Glider Rides for Cadets 

Five cadets from Civil Air Patrol’s Eglin Composite Squadron recently took part in glider orientation flights at Elsanor Airport in Robertsdale, Alabama.  Participating were Cadet Tia Coppersmith, Cadet Andy Holtery, Cadet Amn Salavatore Riccio, Cadet CMSgt Connor Davis, and Cadet 1Lt Stirling Nabor.  The event was supervised by Lt Col Chad Fager and Maj Emil Pagiari.  1Lt Rus Howard was the pilot, Maj Ben Poffenberger and Capt Bob Dorsey of Pensacola SM Squadron assisted.  Cadet Sarah Luke of Pensacola Composite squadron also received an orientation flight.

The cadet orientation flight program shares the thrill of flying with cadets. Every cadet under the age of 18 is eligible for five flights in a powered aircraft and five flights in gliders. Orientation flights are always free to a cadet.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for the past 73 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.

CAP cadets participate in glider orientation flights Feb 7, 2015. L-R Cadets Salvatore Riccio, Andy Holtery Jr, Lt Col Chad Fager and Cadets Tia Coppersmith, Stirling Naber, and Conner Davis.

Fisher House 5K Run

On March 7th, 140 athletes braved a sunny but chilly Florida morning to participate in the 5th Annual Fisher House 5K. Presented by the Eglin Air Force Association and the Eglin Top 3 Association and with generous sponsorship from the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, this year’s event was a resounding success!  The race was held on the campus of Northwest Florida State College and it was truly a family event. The event consisted of a 5K race, a 5K walk and 1 mile fun run for the children.   The overall male 5K winner was Ben Eell, with a time of 17:20, and the overall female winner was Ava Suydan coming in at 21.39.  Everyone enjoyed the post-race party and awards ceremony, feasting on the red beans and rice catered by the Magnolia Grill.   Additional thanks to Bluewater Fitness and Wellness Center, Total Parts Plus, VFW Post 7674, Association of the US Army (AUSA), Eglin Federal Credit Union, Emerald Coast Military Affairs Committee, Investments Unlimited, Run With It, and Magnolia Grill.  All proceeds from this race go to support the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast.  This year’s event raised approximately $2,600, putting the 5-year total at approximately $34,000!  Many thanks to the participants, local community and sponsors for their incredible support!  

Coming Events

ECC ITEA Symposium on April 7th, 1300-1630, Air Force Armament Museum, 100 Museum Dr, Eglin AFB, FL

Local Professional Consortium POCs The Emerald Coast Chapter (ECC) of 
International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA), with the 
Doolittle Institute as a co-sponsor, is excited to host a symposium to 
discuss “Shaping today’s warfighting responses to emerging threat” with 
distinguished panel members.  The panel is chaired by Major General 
Robert Chedister, USAF, Retired and the panel members include: ·       
Lieutenant General Bruce Fister, USAF, Retired
General Eric Fiel, USAF, Retired
Major General William “Ken” 
Peck, USAF, Retired
Colonel Gary Plumb, USAF, Retired

Colonel Mike “Adrian” Guidry, USAF, Retired

The panel discussion is 
followed by the keynote speaker, Mr. Edward Hubbard, USAF, Retired, who 
is internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, author and former 
prisoner of the Vietnam War. His message will transform your outlook on 
life. The symposium is free admission; The ECC ITEA Scholarship 
Donation Box will be available for those who wish to donate to our 
local scholarship fund.

Eglin AFA Luncheon featuring General Kostelnik on Homeland Security
Join us for lunch at the Bayview Club in the Sand Dollar Room on Wednesday, April 29th at 11 a.m. General Kostelnik will speak on UAS On Leading Edge in Homeland Security. Club Members: $12; Non-Members $14. Please RSVP to Amy Gold at 850-897-5995 or
by COB Friday, April 24th.

Education Recognition Night
Please mark your calendars for our Education Recognition Night to award AFA Scholarships to our recipients. The event is on Thursday, May 14th at 6 p.m. at the Air Force Armament Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Eglin AFB. It is our fortune to have CMSgt (ret) Roy Taylor as our speaker.

Air Force Mourns the Loss of Ninth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force
By Senior Master Sgt. Lee E. Hoover Jr., Office of the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force / Published March 21, 2015

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The ninth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James C. Binnicker passed away March 21 in Calhoun, Ga. 

Chief Binnicker was born in Orangeburg, S.C., on July 23, 1938. He was a leader and an Airman from the day he first joined the Civil Air Patrol as a high school freshman. His childhood dream was to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, but in August 1957, after doctors discovered high-frequency hearing loss in his right ear, he decided to enlist in the personal equipment – later called life support – career field. As a young Airman he found himself on the flight line with B-52s, KC-135s and fellow Airmen who became mentors and role models and put him on the path that would lead to his selection as the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force in 1986. 

“Chief Binnicker was an iconic Airman who truly elevated the status of our Senior NCOs,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III.  “He was an innovator and a leader who cared deeply about Airmen. His legacy lives on today and is carried forward by the professional enlisted force we have serving our nation. For that, and so much more, we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.  He and his family are in our thoughts on this very sad day for our Air Force.”

“He was a leader in every room he entered,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody. “That was the case during his time in uniform and well after he retired. We often speak of legends, those Airmen who have gone before us and built the platforms from which we stand and fight today…Chief Binnicker is a legend among those legends. His impact on our Air Force is everlasting and we will truly miss his leadership, counsel and friendship.”

Binnicker’s Air Force career spanned 33 years and a variety of roles. By 1964 he had crossed-trained into air operations and was planning flights for missions going to Vietnam. He later deployed to the warzone and served in the 22d Tactical Air Support Squadron from 1968 to 1969. He quickly moved up the ranks and began serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 4
th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12th Air Force and, later, Pacific Air Forces and Tactical Air Command.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter established the President’s Commission on Military Compensation and, on the recommendation of then Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Thomas Barnes, Binnicker became the sole enlisted member on the commission. However, following Binnicker’s suggestion, the commission later added enlisted representatives from the other services.

Chief Binnicker served in the Air Force’s top enlisted position from July 1, 1986 to July 31, 1990. During his tenure he led the transformation from the Airman Performance Report to the Enlisted Performance Report, and developed the performance feedback system. He also worked to have Master Sergeants admitted to the SNCO Academy and to increase the opportunities for minorities and women throughout the Air Force.  

Chief Binnicker retired Aug. 1, 1990, but his heart never left the Air Force. He continued traveling around the world to speak with Airmen in different forums including professional military education courses. In 2000, he was selected as the CEO and President of the Air Force Enlisted Village in Shalimar, Fl., and spent the next 15 years working tirelessly to provide more than 400 residents a loving, secure place to call home. 

“Chief Binnicker spent his lifetime serving our Nation and the Air Force he loved,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “From the first moment he stepped onto a flightline it was clear he was an Air Force leader and would become a tremendous spokesman and advocate for our enlisted force.  He was a man of honor and commitment to things greater than himself. His passing is mourned by all Airmen, past and present, around the globe.”

Chief Binnicker was always proud to wear the enlisted chevrons. He firmly believed enlisted Airmen should be given more responsibility and have the freedom to voice their opinion and be involved in the decision process. When asked years ago how he would like to be remembered, he answered, “That I did my best. I would hope most people would say the same thing…and that’s all you can do. That’s all that the country can ask of you…that you do your best.”

Hot Opportunities for You!

Longwood Elementary is planning a Math and Science Night on May 7 from 5-6:30. They're requesting a STEM speaker for 20-30 minutes during that time, preferably with an easy hands-on activity or show-and-tell option. One idea (many other possibilities!): discuss forces on aircraft and have the students construct paper airplanes. By tweaking the edges of the tail and wings, you can show how the trajectory of the aircraft changes. Please reply to Angela Diggs at if you are interested.

Thank you to Our Community Partners
Raytheon 60 2nd St, Suite 601, Shalimar, FL 32579
Lockheed Martin Corporation-Tobi L Allen 5600 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Paul S. Hsu TTE 819 Choctaw Lane, Shalimar, FL 32579
Bill Kirk 1100 Troon Dr W, Niceville, FL 32578 897-1365
Lamar Outdoor Advertising:Joseph Raines 223 Greenacres Rd, Ft Walton Beacn, FL 32547 
Lockheed Martin Corporation-Accounts Payable Cntr PO Box 33010 Lakeland, FL 33807-3010
Ann Shambo 1005 Lake Dr, Niceville, FL 32578
St Joe Community Foundation: Jant Greeno, Exec Dir: 133 S Watersound Pkwy, Watersound, FL 32413
Investments Unlimited-Cliff Long PO Box 623, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549-0623
ATK - Bob Blake 2803 Sam Snead Court, Shalimar, FL 32579
COLSA Corporation: Anderson/Orcutt/Warner/Williams 51 3rd St Bldg E, Shalimar, FL 32579
Jimmie Adams Gen (Ret) 320 Sand Myrtle Trl, Destin,  FL 32541
Jacobs Technology, Inc 1030 Titan Crt, #100 FWB FL 32547
2015 Fisher House Run Donors $500 or Greater  
Harvey F Eckhoff VFW Post 7674: Quartermaster Account PO Box 456, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0456 
Total Parts Plus: Dr Paul Hsu, Chairman 709 Anchors St, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32578 
Bluewater Fitness Center 4591 E Hwy 20, Niceville, FL 32578-8844
Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport - Mike Stenson 1701 State Rd 85 N, Eglin AFB, FL 32542 
Magnolia Grill 157 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 


January — March 2015
Volume XXVII, Issue 1 

Eddie McAllister,President
Candace Lovell, Vice President
Shirley Pigott, Secretary
Steve Czonstka,Treasurer
Maj Gen (ret) Mike Kostelnik, VP Scholarships Chair, Aerospace Education Foundation
Bob Patterson, VP Leadership Development
Mike Farrell, VP Aerospace Education
Candace Lovell, VP Programs Vacant
VP Membership Vacant
VP Cyber Patriot Vacant
VP Community Partners Vacant
Doug Hardin, VP Military Relations
Amy Gold, VP Communications
Dann Matizza, State President
Jim Connors Area, Vice President

Inside this Issue

1 President's Notes
2 French Legion of Honor Award
3 Glider 'Rides
4 Fisher House 5K
5 Coming Events
6 CMSgt. James C. Binnicker
7 Hot Opportunities
8 Community Partners

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P.O. Box 176, Shalimar, FL 32579