2016 Honored Guests

(additional Honored Guests will be listed as they are confirmed)

Major General
Arnold Fields
USMC (Ret)
Col. McGee
Charles McGee
USAF (Ret)

Charles DeBellevue
USAF (Ret)

William Bond
USN (Ret)

Ron Sharek
Col. McGee
Lt Colonel
Steve Schnell

Roderick Cox
USA (Ret)

Lt Colonel
Maura George

Master Sergeant
Danny Hopper

Top of PageMajor General Arnold Fields, USMC (Ret), Deputy Commander, USMC Forces Europe

Major General Arnold Fields, USMC (Ret), Deputy Commander, USMC Forces Europe. General Fields retired from the USMC with over 34 years of active military service.  At the time of his retirement he was serving as the Deputy Commander of Marine Corps Forces in Europe. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, General Fields commanded the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment in operations against Iraqi Armed Forces. After retirement, he served as a member of the U.S. Department of Reconstruction and Management Office. He then served as the Deputy Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Department of Defense. He then served as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction until 2011. He was recently reappointed by the Secretary of the Navy to a second term on the Board of Visitors, Marine Corps University.  He will close the Honored Guests Banquet, as he has for many years, by singing "God Bless America".

Colonel McGee.jpg (46236 bytes) Top of PageColonel Charles McGee, USAF (Ret)

Colonel McGee, an original Tuskegee Airman, and Commander Richards-Gebaur AFB, entered Army Air Corps Flight Training in 1942 and received his Silver Wings as a pilot in Class 43-F, Tuskegee Army Air Field.   During his 30 years of active duty he flew fighter aircraft combat tours in three major wars:  WWII, Korean War and the Vietnam War in P-39's, P-47's, P-51's, F-51's and RF-4C's.   When he retired he held the USAF fighter combat record of 409 missions and 1,151 combat hours.  He is the former President of the Tuskegee Airmen of America and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 with his fellow Tuskegee Airmen.  He is a graduate of Columbia College (Kansas City Campus).

Top of PageColonel Charles DeBellevue, USAF (Ret)

Colonel DeBellevue is our Ace of Aces from the Vietnam War.  As a member of the famed "Triple Nickel," the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, he is credited with downing six North Vietnamese MiGs.   Altogether he logged 550 combat hours while flying 220 combat missions, 96 over North Vietnam.  After 30 years of distinguished service he retired from the Air Force in 1998 as the last American Ace on active duty.   His final assignment was as Commander of the AFROTC Detachment 440 at the University of Missouri - Columbia. His decorations include the Air Force Cross, three Silver Stars, three Legions of Merit, and six Distinguished Flying Crosses. In 2012 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and he will be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal.

Top of PageCaptain William Bond, USN (Ret)

Captain Bond retired as the Commander, Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, F-14 Tomcats.   He is a graduate of Hickman High School, the University of Missouri and has a Master's Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI.  He received his Navy Wings of Gold in June, 1980.  He was the Squadron Operations Officer for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.  As Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations he deployed aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in support of Operations NOBLE EAGLE and ENDURING FREEDOM. He is currently the President and Owner of RenCon Industries, LLC. He will be arriving early to be a speaker in the Living History Program at area schools and service clubs.

Top of PageCaptain Ron Sharek, USAF

Captain Sharek served for 8 years in the USAF and flew 233 missions in Vietnam. After growing up in Kansas City Ks, Ron Sharek attended Parks College of St Louis University. There he received his degree in Aeronautical Engineering and his commission through the Air Force ROTC program. He received his pilot training at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls TX and upon flight school graduation, he went to transition training in the F-100 at Luke, AFB outside Phoenix AZ. After training in the F-100, he was assigned to the 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phan Rang Air Base in the Republic of South Vietnam. While at Phan Rang, he flew 233 combat missions in the F-100 and during his year tour he was awarded the Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Silver Star. After Vietnam, he served as an instructor pilot, flight commander and flight examiner back at Sheppard AFB. His final assignment was with Headquarters Air Training Command Standardization and Evaluation team where he was awarded the Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Ron now resides in St Louis Mo.

Top of PageLt Colonel Steve Schnell, USAFR

Lt Col Steve Schnell, USAFR, is presently serving at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. He has over 5000 flying hours in the C-141 Starlifter, C-5 Galaxy, and his most current airlifter, the C-17 Globemaster III. He serves full time for the Air Force Reserve as their Chief of Current Operations -orchestrating over 5500 hours of flying annually in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He has been involved in nearly every US contingency since 1992. He is most proud of his units (445th Airlift Wing) flying 17000 wounded out of Balad, Iraq, from 2003-2005, without the loss of a single life. Lt Col also has the distinction of being the last C-141 Pilot.

Top of PageColonel Roderick Cox, USA (Ret)

Roderick M. Cox served as an Officer in the United States Army for over 32 years as an Artilleryman, Foreign Area Officer, Professor, and Historian. His service included numerous Joint and Combined operations both in the United States and overseas to include combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian, and diplomatic duties including Director of the US Army Combat Studies Institute, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Professor of Military Studies and Chair of the Department of Leadership & Strategy at the US Air Force Air War College. Colonel Cox’s over 40 military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the NATO Medal, the Army Superior Unit Award, and the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara.

Top of PageLt Colonel Maura George, USA and USAFR

Lt. Colonel George spent 7 years serving as a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the US Army, including a combat tour as a MEDEVAC pilot in Iraq flying wounded off the battlefield. She left the Army to join the US Air Force Reserve flying C-130 Hercules in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom as well as stateside MEDEVAC Missions. She is a former 8th Grade student of Dick Starks of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol.

Master_Sergeant_Danny_Hopper.jpg (59015 bytes) Top of PageMaster Sergeant Danny Hopper, USAF

Master Sergeant Hopper is an Enlisted Accessions (EA) Flight Chief in Lafayette, IN for the 338th Recruiting Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He is responsible for recruiting, processing, and enlistment of young men and women into the United States Air Force. Sergeant Hopper meets all assigned recruiting goals through effectively leading, training, and motivating 6 Air Force recruiters and a civilian in an 11K square mile area. In addition, Sergeant Hopper works directly with businesses, schools, and community leaders daily in support of publicity and community relations programs.