The Thomas D. White National Defense Award

Established March 1, 1962, by the United States Air Force Academy, this award is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

The award may be based on outstanding contributions to national security in any fields of endeavor including science, technology, leadership, management, national affairs, international affairs or a combination thereof.

The permanent Thomas D. White plaque is displayed in Arnold Hall, with the names of the annual winners inscribed thereon. Each recipient will receive an appropriate individual award, certificate and citation.

The Plans and Programs Office requests nominations from the Board of Visitors and Academy agencies in January. Eligible nominees include U.S. citizens who have contributed significantly to national defense and security in any field of endeavor (e.g., science, technology, leadership, national or international affairs). Active-duty military personnel and federal employees in active service are not normally eligible for consideration.

The Thomas D. White Award Selection Committee evaluates the nominations and recommends selection to the superintendent. The award is typically presented during a formal ceremony, normally at the Academy in the fall.

1962 - Dr. Edward Teller, nuclear physicist and principal architect of the hydrogen bomb
1963 - Dr. Theodore von Karman, pioneer in the development of jet propulsion and rocket engines
1964 - Carl Vinson, former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
1965 - Gen. Curtis LeMay, World War II commander in Europe and the Pacific, planner of the Berlin Airlift and Air Force chief of staff
1966 - Clarence Johnson, former vice president of advanced development projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corp. and designer of the F-104 Starfighter and U-2 Dragon Lady
1967 - Lt. Gen. James Doolittle, former chairman of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and World War II aviation hero
1968 - Gen. Carl Spaatz, first Air Force chief of staff
1969 - Lt. Gen. Ira Eaker, former chief of the Air Staff and aviation pioneer
1970 - Dr. Charles Stark Draper, former vice director of the instrumentation laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1971 - Igor Sikorsky, pioneer aircraft designer, adviser and consultant to the United Aircraft Manufacturing Corp.
1972 - Gen. Nathan Twining, former Air Force chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1973 - Gen. Bernard Schriever, former commander of Air Force Systems Command
1974 - Gen. Lauris Norstad, former supreme allied commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
1975 - Sen. John Stennis, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
1976 - Gen. John Ryan, former Air Force chief of staff
1977 - Bob Hope, international entertainer and humanitarian
1978 - Sen. Barry Goldwater, former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee
1979 - Gen. George Brown, former Air Force chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1980 - Dr. Robert Seamans Jr., former secretary of the Air Force
1981 - David Packard, former deputy secretary of defense and a founder of the Hewlett Packard Electronics Corporation
1982 - Melvin Laird, former secretary of defense
1983 - Gen. Russell Dougherty, former commander of Strategic Air Command
1984 - Sen. John Tower, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
1985 - Gen. Theodore Milton, former U.S. representative to the NATO Military Committee
1986 - Sen. Stuart Symington, first secretary of the Air Force
1987 - Sen. Sam Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
1988 - Caspar Weinberger, former secretary of defense
1989 - President Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States
1990 - Navy Adm. William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1991 - Gen. Larry Welch, former Air Force chief of staff
1992 - Dr. Malcolm Currie, former CEO of Hughes Aircraft Company
1993 - Army Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser
1994 - George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States
1995 - Lt. Gen. Benjamin Davis Jr., Tuskegee Airmen leader, member and former chairman of the Academy's Board of Visitors
1996 - Gen. Charles Gabriel, former Air Force chief of staff
1997 - Sen. John McCain, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee
1998 - Army Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1999 - Sen. Strom Thurmond, former chairman emeritus and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
2000 - Rep. Floyd Spence, former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
2001 - Rep. C.W. Bill Young, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
2002 - Norman Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed-Martin
2003 - Duncan Hunter, former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
2004 - Col. John Boyd, military strategist and aviation pioneer
2005 - Gen. Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2006 - Gen. Ronald Fogleman, former Air Force chief of staff
2007 - Dr. William Perry, former secretary of defense
2008 - Sen. John Glenn, astronaut
2009 - Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Adviser and 66th secretary of state

2010 - Marine Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

(Current as of November 2011)