Programs & Awards


At TAI, it is our duty to propel the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen through programs, awards, military collaborations, conventions, and much more.


Each year, we gather together to celebrate the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen and discuss how we can continue their legacy. 


Our PR team works to provide information surrounding the organization’s objectives and programs.


At TAI, education and scholarship are of the utmost importance. Learn more about how we encourage students to strive like the Tuskegee Airmen through STEM and aviation programs.


Curious about having a representative of TAI or a notable Airmen speak? Visit the Speakers’ Bureau to fill out a request form. 


Across the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. they are an array of awards presented to those who uphold the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.


The Brigadier General Noel F. Parrish Award is presented annually, typically at The National Convention. The award consists of a gold medallion (bearing the likeness of Brig Gen Parrish), a certificate, and a monetary award. Each chapter may submit one nomination to the Noel F. Parrish Award Committee for consideration.

Award Nominee Criteria: 

  •       Nominee’s achievement enhanced equal access to knowledge, skills and 
  •       Beneficiaries of nominee’s achievements (primary, secondary, etc.) 
  •       Nature of benefits (tangible, intangible, permanent, short-term, long-term) 
  •       Impact of achievement on beneficiaries 
  •       Efforts exerted by nominee 


The General Daniel James Jr. Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals or organizations that performed in an outstanding manner in significant positions within the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. organization structure. The awardee must have clearly presented exceptionally distinguished service. Awardee must have demonstrated meritorious accomplishment, leadership, unusual competence, and significant in scope and impact. Because this recognition is granted within the structure of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., nominees’ contribution must have been the accomplishments of at least one year resulting in profound programs, projects or service documented by the development of improved methods or procedures in which Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. is the beneficiary.


The CMSgt Thomas N. Barnes Humanitarian Award is given to any individual or organization that participated in some humanitarian action, which was significant in directly meeting Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. goals and objectives. The impression of this action must have been demonstrated over the course of no less than one year. Awardee must have demonstrated valor, courage and/or fortitude in the accomplishment of the humanitarian deed.


Although persons or organizations that have made significant humanitarian contributions over the course of a lifetime should be recognized and commended, it is imperative that this award not be confused with acts or deeds that should be recognized in “other” appropriate arenas. This particular award is intended for individuals or organizations whose acts and deeds are directly in line, and relevant to the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. goals and objectives.


The Captain Lemuel Rodney Custis Award exemplifies the “Tuskegee Airmen Experience”. An individual who measures up the characteristics of perseverance, determination and motivation will be selected to receive the award.



  • Nominee who made a significant contribution to the goals and objectives of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
  • Be a member in good standing in Tuskegee Airmen Inc., exemplify good citizenship and community involvement.
  • Nominee who advanced a program for disadvantaged youths and/or young adults aspiring to be part of the workforce.
  • Created an educational program for youth to inspire them to and guide them through an aviation career or education related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • Provide significant opportunities for youth college scholarships, inspiration to study and or pursue aerospace and/or military careers.
  • Inspire youth to complete high school, pursue advanced education, or training in an economically employable skill.

Only one member of a chapter can be nominated for this award by the chapter’s nominating committee. The award year extends from July 1 of the past year through June 30 of the current year.


Each Regional President will appoint the Chairperson of the Regional Awards Committee. Each Region of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. is to select an awardee to be honored at the annual National Convention. 


The nominee for the Regional Award should have been a full participant in his/her Chapter’s Regional or National programs, and should be responsible for significant achievements during the calendar year (from August, following the convention, to July 30 of the next year) that reflect positively not only on the individual, but also on his/her Chapter in membership, finances, youth education and TAI public relations. 

The submitted package should reflect the following topic statements: 

“The Nominee has Increased or has caused to Increase 

  • The membership of his/her Chapter.”
  • The finances of his/her Chapter. “
  • The youth education of his/her Chapter.” 
  • Positive public relations concerning his/her Chapter or The National organization.” 

…based on quantitative information suitable for comparison to other nominees.


The Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (TAI) Military Awards are presented to outstanding military members (Active, Reserve, or Guard) regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Nominations are accepted from every branch of the service. The Chairperson of the Military Affairs Committee (MAC) or designated officer, on behalf of the TAI Second Vice President, is responsible for the nomination, approval, and presentation of the Military Awards. These awards, although competitive, are intended to recognize not only the actual awardees but also those who were nominated.  Award Scoring Weights are 50-30-20 for Achievement, Development, and Community Service, respectively. Only four (4) nominees (one per category) from each wing or wing equivalent will be accepted. Individual Chapters have no authority or direct actions in the award process.


The nominees are military personnel who have demonstrated exceptional competence, leadership, and achievement. Their contributions must not only cover their superior performance while on military duty but should also cover contributions to their respective communities.


Submissions should cover the period of August 1st, of the previous calendar year through June 30th, of the current calendar year.

The following award categories are: 

  • General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Military Award: Named for our esteemed leader who has been an inspiration to all those who have followed and served under him. Awarded to a field grade officer who has exhibited outstanding performance in both performance and community service. 

  • Captain Robert W. Williams Military Award: Named for the pioneer aviator who spearheaded a movie project about the Tuskegee Airmen. He spent 43 years pitching his story and was turned down by every movie and television studio until Home Box Office (HBO) accepted the project in 1995. It became a worldwide success and earned 3 Emmy Awards, a Peabody, a Cable Ace, and 2 NAACP Image Awards. This award goes to a company-grade officer who has exhibited outstanding performance in both performance and community service. 

  • Chief Master Sergeant Fred Archer Military Award: Named for one of the first blacks to achieve the highest enlisted grade. He served with the famed 99th Pursuit Squadron as a Weapons Specialist. In his distinguished 35-year career, he was nominated three times to serve as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. This award goes to a senior noncommissioned officer who exhibits outstanding performance in both performance and community service. 

  • Senior Master Sergeant Margaret Frances Barbour Military Award: Named for SMSgt Margaret Frances Barbour. This award goes to a noncommissioned officer or airman who exhibits outstanding performance in both performance and community service.


Submission Instructions

Please carefully read the below criteria and award submission procedures.

Award Nomination Packages are Accepted by E-MAIL ONLY.

  • Please forward all submissions to taiawards@tuskegeeairmen.org.
  • Any Award Nomination Package received prior to 12:01 AM CDT / 01 Jun or after 11:59 PM CDT / 30 Jun will be disqualified.
  • All awards are based on accomplishments occurring from August 1st, of the previous year to June 30th, of the current year. A nominee shall only have one award submitted on their behalf per award cycle.
  • All Award Packages shall include a Nomination Transmittal Letter: This document nominates the individual and will be signed by the Wing Commander/Wing Commander equivalent (or designated representative). 
  • All Award Package submissions shall include an Award Justification: This document cites specific actions and qualifications justifying the nominee’s merit in the following three (3) areas: Professional Achievement, Professional Development, and Community/Public Service. The Justification Page can be an AF Form 1206 or plain, bond paper. It is limited to one page, maximum, in bullet format. You may use as many bullets as possible that will fit within the form with no continuation sheets allowed. All Categories should be covered in the bullets.
  • The Military has gone to the paragraph format it will be acceptable, but you have to remember you only have 1 page that can be submitted to the TAI Military Awards Committee, by using the bullet points it will give you more room to submit your performances if you use the bullet format.

  • If using acronyms and abbreviations, only utilize those identified on the approved Acronym and abbreviation List, link is below.  Military an DOD Dictionary with definition and acronyms list, if it is not listed without an acronym, please spell the words out. 



                                             2023 NATIONAL Military Award WINNERS

During the 2023 Tuskegee Airmen Annual Convention Military award recipients were named during its Awards Gala and Dinner on Saturday, Aug 19th. 


General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Military Award
Major Agustus A. Harilall
Malmstrom AFB, MT

Captain Robert W. Williams Military Award
Captain Robert L. Freeman
Malmstrom AFB, MT

Chief Master Sergeant Fred Archer Military Award
Master Sergeant Marie E. Wagand

Little Rock AFB, AR

Senior Master Sergeant Margaret Frances Barbour Military Award
Staff Sergeant Calvin T. Trang
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

Congratulations to all the Winners! 

Explore More TAI Awards and Programs


Discover see how we support the youth through education assistance awards.


Through scholarships provided by the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, students are also able to walk in the spirit of Tuskegee Airmen and thrive.


Through our local and national youth awards, young people are able to be recognized and honored for their diligence.


In addition to awards, TAI supports young people across the nation through aviation and STEM initiatives.