2018 Golden Eagle Award Recipients


The SAME Academy of Fellows will honor Col. Ed Gibson, F.SAME, USA (Ret.), with the Golden Eagle Award for Significant Contributions to the Engineering Profession, and Gen. Craig McKinley, USAF (Ret.), with the Golden Eagle Award for Significant Contributions to National Security, during the 2018 Golden Eagle Awards Dinner, March 7, 2018 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in North Bethesda, Md.

Part of SAME Capital Week, the black-tie dinner is being held following the 2018 Academy of Fellows Investiture, which will invest 25 new Fellows into the Academy. The Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards Dinner, first held in 1996, annually recognizes two national leaders—an SAME Fellow for significant contributions to the engineering profession; and a prominent national leader for significant contributions to national security. Past award recipients have included Senator Robert J. Dole, The Honorable David H. Petraeus, Ph.D., Lt. Gen. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.), and Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME (see full list below).

 2018 Golden Eagle Awardees


Col. Ed Gibson, F.SAME, USA (Ret.), is being presented with the Golden Eagle Award for outstanding contributions to the engineering profession.

A veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, Col. Gibson has for more than two decades led 21 Delta Search, a non-profit job network that has helped hundreds of engineers grow their resume and find positions upon their transition from the military. Col. Gibson began his military career in 1943, when he joined the U.S. Navy. He served onboard the USS August during the invasion of Southern France. He then spent 21 months in the occupation of Japan following World War II.

He enlisted in the Army in 1948 and following officer candidate training in 1949, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His initial assignment was with the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, where he commanded Charlie Company prior to his departure to Korea. he also commanded Charlie Company of the 65th Engineer Battalion (Combat), 25th Infantry Division.

Col. Gibson held a variety of combat engineer command and staff positions culminating in his assignment to lead the 65th Engineer Combat Battalion (Divisional), 25th Infantry Division, in Vietnam from December 1968 to December 1969. His first tour in Vietnam was as a Maintenance Officer with Military Assistance Command-Vietnam. After his second tour, he commanded the U.S. Army Engineer Center Brigade at Fort Belvoir for two years prior to his retirement in 1972.

Col. Gibson’s staff assignments included serving as Deputy Chief of Military Personnel, Office of the Chief of Engineers, from 1966 to 1968. He would later become Chief of Military Personnel when the position was civilianized, an assignment he would hold from 1979 to 1992. It was during this period that Col. Gibson laid the foundation for what would eventually turn into 21 Delta Search, as he would help enlisted, officers and civilians who were leaving the service find positions he knew they were qualified for.

Col. Gibson retired from Federal Civil Service in March 1992. He was awarded the Exceptional Civil Service Award and the Silver de Fleury Medal upon his retirement. In 2004, he was bestowed the Gold de Fleury Medal.


Gen. Craig McKinley, USAF (Ret.) is being presented with the Golden Eagle Award for outstanding contributions to national security.

Gen. McKinley was appointed National Chair of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) by Secretary of Defense James Mattis on June 1, 2017. As National Chair, he leads ESGR, a Department of Defense program, in its mission of facilitating and promoting a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service. ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,000 volunteers throughout 54 committees located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Gen. McKinley retired from the U.S. Air Force after 38 years in November 2012 as a four-star general. His last assignment was Chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was a military adviser to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. He also was the Defense Department’s official channel of communication to governors and state adjutants general on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.

During his Air Force career, he served in numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector, and field operating agency levels. Gen. McKinley was a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, primarily in the T-38, F-106, F-16, and F-15. Following his military service, Gen. McKinley served as President of the Air Force Association and President & CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association.

He received his commission in 1974 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Southern Methodist University, where he earned a bachelor’s in Business Administration. He later received a master’s degree in Management and Economics, at Webster College in St. Louis, in 1979. He completed studies at the National War College, National Defense University in 1995, earning a degree in National Security Management. Gen. McKinley currently serves on several board of directors, among them Analytic Services Inc.; Guardian Center; National Guard Youth Foundation; Our Military Kids Foundation; K-9s for Warriors; Vaughn College; U.S. Air Force Academy Falcon Foundation; and Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.



The Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards were first presented in 1996. Over the last 20-plus years, many prominent Americans have been honored with the award.

For Contributions to the A/E/C Profession

  • 2017 Harold I. Rosen, F.SAME
  • 2016 Lt. Gen. Robert L. VanAntwerp, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2015 Suzanne DiGeronimo, FAIA, F.SAME, PP
  • 2014 Honorable James A. Rispoli, P.E., BCEE, F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2013 Col. James L. Lammie, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2012 Brig. Gen. Ralph V. Locurcio, P.E., F. SAME, U.S. Army (Ret.)
  • 2011 Rear Adm. Benjamin F. Montoya, USN (Ret.)
  • 2010 William A. Brown Sr., P.E., HAIA, F.SAME
  • 2009 Rear Adm Jack Buffington, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2008 Maj. Gen. Joseph A. “Bud” Ahearn, P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.)
  • 2007 Col. F.H.“Bud” Griffis, Ph.D., P.E.,NAC, USA (Ret.)
  • 2006 Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2005 Rear Adm. David J. Nash, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2004 Brig. Gen Gerald E. Galloway Jr., Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2003 Lt. Gen. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2003 Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME
  • 2002 Brig. Gen. Forrest T. Gay III, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2001 Frank H. Walk, D.E., P.E., F.SAME
  • 2000 Michael Haratunian, P.E., F.SAME
  • 1999 E. Manning Seltzer, F.SAME
  • 1998 Lt. Gen. John W. Morris, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 1997 Seymour S. Greenfield, P.E., F.SAME
  • 1996 Maj. Gen. Clifton D. Wright Jr., P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.)

For Contributions to National Security

  • 2017 Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, USA (Ret.)
  • 2016 Adm. Vernon E. Clark, USN (Ret.)
  • 2015 Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.)
  • 2014 Lt. Gen. Theodore G. Stroup Jr., P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2013 Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman, USA (Ret.)
  • 2012 Honorable David H. Petraeus, Ph.D.
  • 2011 Adm. Thad W. Allen, USCG (Ret.)
  • 2010 Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
  • 2009 Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton, USA (Ret.)
  • 2008 Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
  • 2007 Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
  • 2006 Adm. James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.)
  • 2005 Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2004 Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, USA (Ret.)
  • 2002 Stephen E. Ambrose
  • 2001 Honorable David Hobson
  • 2000 Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.)
  • 1999 Senator Robert J. Dole
  • 1998 Honorable W.G. Hefner
  • 1997 Honorable Richard B. Cheney
  • 1996 Norman R. Augustine


For more information on the SAME Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards, visit www.same.org/GoldenEagle.