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HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014

Four former Air Force communicators will be inducted into the Air Force Cyberspace Operations and Support Hall of Fame, Class of 2014.
 

     

Lieutenant General Charles E. "Charlie" Croom, Jr.:  Lt Gen Croom has had a major
impact on the Department of Defense, the United States Air Force, the defense industry,
and professional associations for more than 40 years. His achievements and
accomplishments have had both national and international impact. An early cyber
visionary, Gen Croom institutionalized the command structure of the Joint Task Force (JTF)
and initiated the model of today's Joint Information Enterprise which serves as the
standard for seamless IT throughout DoD. Gen Croom's talents have impacted at all
levels--from leading the redesign and rebuilding of the White House Situation Room
providing enhanced capability for the POTUS and the National Command Authority to
establishing desktop collaboration-as-a-service across DoD as the first real enterprise
offering. In his 40 years of service, Lt Gen Croom has done it all and done it ethically, with integrity and class.

 

 

     

Brigadier General Wallace Gordon Smith:  Brig Gen Smith planned, organized, and
established the Army Airways Communications System (AACS) providing the first
organized Air Corps communications system by integrating the Army's 33 existing radio
stations and 300 personnel into a single system for the United States--the basis for
worldwide operations during World War II. A true "hands-on" leader, Gen Smith personally
flew the Frankfurt to Berlin corridor during the Berlin Airlift to determine the best means to
accomplish air traffic control making it possible for the AACS to handle more than 277,000
airlift flights. Gen Smith went on to form the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)
facilitating interest among civilian amateur radio operators to provide a trained pool of
personnel able to assist civil defense agencies during national emergencies. Brig Gen
Smith not only changed the face of communications, he led efforts that impacted millions
around the world.
 

 

 

     

Colonel David J. Kovach:  A U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, Col Kovach has worked
in the communications-computer systems field his entire career serving in positions at
every level of operations affecting Airmen around the world. As the Commander, Air Force
Communications Agency, he laid bedrock for what would become the Air Force Network
(AFNET) consolidation--one Air Force, one network. A true warfighter and integrator, Col
Kovach developed and executed the C4ISR strategic plan in direct support of the Joint
Task Force-Southwest Asia and post 9/11 Operation Enduring Freedom combat
operations. Col Kovach's wartime leadership and unprecedented contributions set the
stage for over ten years of successful combat operations in Southwest Asia including
Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. A consummate professional, Col Kovach's
leadership and mentorship have left a living legacy in the Air Force cyberspace force's
DNA.
 

 

 

     

Chief Master Sergeant Larry V. Holifield:  Chief Holifield's wisdom, foresight and mastery
of manpower, personnel, training and organizational policy and procedures enabled the Air
Force to maximize and keep pace with fixed and deployable information technology
capabilities. He defined the skills, training and organization required to provide
communications-computer systems support for the 21st century--a concept that would be
adopted and published in the Communications Squadron 2000 Initiative with a Secretary of
the Air Force endorsement. Chief Holifield led the creation of the Air Force's Objective
Communications Squadron, transforming from a fixed wing mindset to an expeditionary
one. A true visionary, his crucial role as Career Field Manager was essential to rallying the
force in a common direction to operationalize and professionalize the network and in the
very creation of today's U.S. Air Force Cyberspace workforce.