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
The Air Force released its new mission statement: To fly, fight, and win … airpower anytime, anywhere. Read more: https://t.co/HalC2dX2kh
Twitter
The #AirForce's new mission statement is: To fly, fight, and win … Airpower anytime, anywhere. This change emphasiz… https://t.co/akmi7PLwyd
Twitter
The @AF_Academy's Scott McMurray performs a floor routine during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championshi… https://t.co/BQJHzxq25g
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Looking forward to the discussions at today’s Army/Air Force Warfighter Talks. When it comes to national defense, collabo…
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce is working to further improve living conditions in privatized housing for its… https://t.co/Kyafyb5pXo
Twitter
“As we continue to accelerate change, we have to think outside the box on how we train." - Capt. Dmytro Pichkur, 61… https://t.co/sLkVA5ctCP
Twitter
“In order to accelerate the change we need in the #AirForce, Team Edwards understands that no one can do this alone… https://t.co/OH0xBzS3YY
Twitter
The @AF_Academy is committed to developing leaders of character. Their graduates have always inspired others. Soon,… https://t.co/rjSmH70SN8
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: #success! This is the 6th flight of the Valkyrie for @AFResearchLab & the first time the payload bay doors have been opened…
Twitter
Don't miss this event LIVE at 3 p.m.! https://t.co/CFkBHJMCsi
Twitter
.@TeamTyndall's SrA Can Liu deployed to support the #COVID19 vaccination efforts in New York. She is the only Airma… https://t.co/LIfeJ48lNL
Twitter
The newest aircraft in the #AirForce fleet has been christened the F-15EX Eagle II. The Eagle II includes the lates… https://t.co/4TIA52fk06
Twitter
Congratulations to the Royal Danish Air Force on the delivery of their first F-35 today! Our Danish friends have be… https://t.co/Gg4fduigTg
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you to @Princeton for having me speak today with their University Lecture Series. I greatly appreciate the opportun…
Twitter
#DYK The #AirForce is the only military branch that has service-wide guidance on acquisition programs, defining cyb… https://t.co/UJZcxugySn
Twitter
RT @366FW: Air Force Chief of Staff @GenCQBrownJr shares some words of wisdom with our Gunfighters! Our Airmen continue to #acceleratecha
Twitter
April is recognized as the Month of the Military Child. The ever-changing military lifestyle impacts every member o… https://t.co/hmvocXQaGL
Twitter
Airmanship 200 is the second of three development courses that new #Airmen receive to better understand #AirForce v… https://t.co/1rueS9ToLP
Twitter
#ICYMI -- The Department of the Air Force published a website where #Airmen and @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians can acces… https://t.co/0YJcST5XaT
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
1,340,709
Follow Us