USAFE Order of the Sword Recipients

SrA Morgan holding the USAFE Order of the Sword

History

The order of the sword is patterned after two orders of chivalry founded during the middle ages in Europe, both of which are still in existance. Traditionally the noncommissioned officer corps as we know it today was established in the early 12th century.

In 1522, King Gustavus I of Sweden enjoined the noblemen commissioned by him to appoint officers to service him. These people became known as noncommissioned officers as we know them today. They were the accountants, builders, craftspeople, teachers, scribes and other leaders responsible for conducting the ordinary daily affairs of the kingdom. The system worked so well that it was incoporated into the army as a way to establish and maintain a cohesive, disciplined, well-trained force for protection of lives and property in the kingdom.

These ancient noncommissioned officers would honor their leader and pledge their loyalty by ceremoniously presenting him with a sword. The sword, a symbol of truth, justice, and power rightfully used, served as a token for all to see and know that here was a leader among leaders, and a man among men. The ceremony became know as "The Royal Order of the Sword."

It was passed through the ages, coming to this country about the time of the Revolutionary War. It lay dormant for many years after that, with the only known instance of its use being in the 1860s when General Robert E. Lee was present a sword by his command. The old "Royal Order of the Sword" ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the Noncommissioned Officers of the United States Air Force in 1967. The order of the sword is the highest honor and tribute that Noncommissioned Officers can bestow upon an individual.

To this date, USAFE has had 19 Order of the Sword recipients.

Brig Gen Richard M. Baughn, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing Commander Richard M. Baughn
Brigadier General, USAF
Commander
20th Tactical Fighter Wing
20 March 1972
Col James P. Albritton, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing Commander James P. Albritton
Colonel, USAF
Commander
50th Tactical Fighter Wing
6 May 1977
Maj Gen William C. Norris, 3rd AF Commander William C. Norris
Major General, USAF
Commander
Third Air Force
9 April 1980
Lt. Gen Walter D. Druen, 17th AF Commander Walter D. Druen, Jr.
Lieutenant General, USAF
Commander
Seventeenth Air Force
16 May 1981
Gen Robert W. Bazley, Vice Commander in Chief Robert W. Bazley
Lieutenant General, USAF
Vice Commander in Chief
5 May 1983
Maj Gen William J. Breckner, 17th AF Commander William J. Breckner, Jr.
Major General, USAF
Commander
Seventeenth Air Force
30 August 1986
Gen Charles L. Donnelly, Commander in Chief Charles L. Donnelly, Jr.
General, USAF
Commander in Chief
21 February 1987
Gen William L. Kirk, Commander in Chief William L. Kirk
General, USAF
Commander in Chief
18 March 1989
Gen William J. Dugan, Commander in Chief William J. Dugan
General, USAF
Commander in Chief
10 November 1990
Lt. Gen Clifford Rees, Vice Commander in Chief Clifford H. Rees, Jr.
Lieutenant General, USAF
Vice Commander in Chief
25 July 1992
Maj Gen Robert S. Delligatti, Command Staff Director Robert S. Delligatti
Major General, USAF
Command Staff Director
29 April 1994
Gen James L. Jamerson, Commander James L. Jamerson
General, USAF
Commander
18 November 1995
Gen Michael E. Ryan, Commander Michael E. Ryan
General, USAF
Commander
17 April 1998
Gen John P. Jumper, Commander John P. Jumper
General, USAF
Commander
8 April 2000
Gen Gregory Martin, USAFE Commander Gregory Martin
General, USAF
Commander
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
30 March 2003
Gen Robert H. Foglesong, USAFE Commander Robert H. Foglesong
General, USAF
Commander
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
26 August 2005
Gen William T. Hobbins, USAFE Commander William T. Hobbins
General, USAF
Commander
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
17 November 2007
Lt. Gen Robert D. Bishop, 3 AF Commander Robert D. Bishop, Jr.
Lieutenant General, USAF
Commander
Third Air Force
19 July 2008
Gen Roger A. Brady, USAFE Commander Roger A. Brady
General, USAF
Commander
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
8 September 2010
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