HomeNewsArticle Display

Tuskegee Airman receives promotion to brigadier general

President Donald J. Trump participates in the promotion pinning ceremony for State of the Union Gallery guest and Tuskegee Airman, retired Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, Feb. 4, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in the promotion pinning ceremony for State of the Union Gallery guest and Tuskegee Airman, retired Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, Feb. 4, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump welcomes State of the Union Gallery guest and Tuskegee Airman, retired Col. Charles McGee, Feb. 4, 2020, to the Oval Office of the White House before McGhee’s promotion to brigadier general. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump welcomes State of the Union Gallery guest and Tuskegee Airman, retired Col. Charles McGee, Feb. 4, 2020, to the Oval Office of the White House before McGhee’s promotion to brigadier general. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Retired Col. Charles McGee, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, high-fives Airmen during his visit Dec. 6, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. McGee served a total of 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, beginning with the U.S. Army Air Corps, and flew a total of 409 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

Retired Col. Charles McGee, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, high-fives Airmen during his visit Dec. 6, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. McGee served a total of 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, beginning with the U.S. Army Air Corps, and flew a total of 409 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

Celebrating a 100th birthday is monumental in itself, but for retired Col. Charles E. McGee, shortly after this celebration he would reach yet another milestone in his successful career.

On Feb. 4, he found himself in the Oval Office at the White House being promoted to brigadier general by President Donald Trump.

“At first I would say ‘wow,’ but looking back, it would have been nice to have had that during active duty, but it didn’t happen that way,” McGee said. “But still, the recognition of what was accomplished, certainly, I am pleased and proud to receive that recognition and hopefully it will help me carry on as we try to motivate our youth in aviation and space career opportunities.”

McGee’s successes started early on in his career, when on June 30, 1943, he earned his pilot’s wings as one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the decorated unit of African American Airmen famous for not only their combat successes, but the impact they had on the cultural shift in the military.

His military career spanned across three decades, where he flew 409 combat missions during three different wars – WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War. While serving, McGee was presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation.

After he retired in 1973, McGee has continued to leave his mark in history. In 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were presented the Congressional Gold Medal by former president George W. Bush, and in 2011, McGee was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Then in 2019, the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy was cemented in the naming of the T-7A training aircraft, the “Red Hawk,” in a tribute to the airplane they flew.

“Charles McGee is a genuine American hero whose courage in combat helped save a nation, and whose legacy is felt to this day across the entire U.S. Air Force," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "It was an honor to witness his promotion and to thank him yet again for paving the way for today's Air Force. The Tuskegee Airmen continue to inspire generations of Americans.”

The evening after he was promoted, McGee attended the State of the Union as a guest and was recognized by Trump. “General McGee, our nation salutes you. Thank you, sir,” Trump said.

Trump wasn’t the only one to recognize McGee this week; on Sunday McGee, along with three other veterans, each 100 years of age, participated in the coin toss at the Super Bowl in Miami.

He has credited all these achievements to a simple formula.

“I’d like to pass on what I call my four ‘P’s’ — perceive, prepare, perform, persevere — dream your dreams but get the good education to accomplish the desires and needs of the country,” he said. “Always seek excellence and always do your best in things that you do. Finally, don’t let the negative circumstances be an excuse for not achieving.”

Engage

Twitter
In March 2020, the CV-22 Osprey fleet established the first flying crew chief program. A ceremony elevated five of… https://t.co/cQv1qMzu1A
Twitter
Addressing @AirForceAssoc's #vASC2020, @WILLROP3R, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology… https://t.co/ZjMJm0kSrX
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC guided @Offutt_AFB flood recovery efforts, executed $856 million in congressional funding to support 12,… https://t.co/YmfLdwPIcg
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we remember heroes we're proud to have served with. In 1965, A1C William Pitsenbarger res… https://t.co/vTmZkWGg73
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates — we hear you. Continuing in unprecedented times....managing official/primary duties, child care, virtual s…
Twitter
In partnership w/the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, @AFGlobalStrike developed the Portfolio-le… https://t.co/xyOGprp9By
Twitter
Since the outbreak COVID-19, @AirMobilityCmd has flown 306 sorties providing aeromedical evacuation, airlift, and a… https://t.co/9bdqVfSj40
Twitter
The first two KC-46A assigned to the @USAFReserve were delivered to the 916th Airlift Wing, @SJAFB, North Carolina… https://t.co/brcVdrqOAY
Twitter
In Aug 2020, the USAF pushed to field hypersonic weapons after a final captive-carry test of the AGM-183A Air-launc… https://t.co/c8LN43plk1
Twitter
As we celebrate 73 years, we honor the heroes we're proud to have served with. Today we pay tribute to MSgt John A… https://t.co/YhOCcbdyuR
Twitter
To better meet the demands of current & future all-domain conflicts, @USAF_ACC integrated Intelligence, Surveillanc… https://t.co/UkN0SOLc0E
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: @DoDCTO @DeptofDefense @usairforce Hypervelocity Guns + Hypervelocity Decision Making = Next-Generation Base Defense! Simply…
Twitter
Click the 🔗for more on the birth of the USAF #USAF73 https://t.co/s1QSobcE4w
Twitter
Under the Department of the Air Force, the act established the #USAF, headed by the Chief of Staff. September 18, 1… https://t.co/GpMkMCwxvF
Twitter
Shortly after WWII, the National Security Act of 1947 became law. It created the Department of the Air Force, heade… https://t.co/VwZ9eLjhgc
Twitter
By March 1, 1935, the General Headquarters Air Force (GHQAF) became operational and assumed command and control ove… https://t.co/O4jpV3hssM
Twitter
On May 24, 1918 the War Department officially recognized these two agencies as the Air Service of @USArmy. #USAF73
Twitter
May 20, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order transferring aviation from the Signal Corps to two… https://t.co/BufjvBFKHx
Twitter
Four years after the Signal Corps took charge of air matters, Congress, for the first time, appropriated funds for… https://t.co/rg0wOG9ma6
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,278,006
Follow Us