Gathering of Eagles Program
The Gathering of Eagles is an elective course at Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), which traces its origin back to 1980. Retired Brigadier General Paul Tibbets was invited to visit the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, United States to share some of his experiences with the students. This visit became the genesis for the Gathering of Eagles elective.
The Gathering of Eagles (GOE) is a year-long elective that capstones the ACSC curriculum. Each year, people who have made a significant contribution to Airpower receive invitations to a week-long event to share their personal stories of courage, perseverance, and innovation to the ACSC class and local community. GOE has been an annual event since 1982 and has honored over 450 Eagles including Neil Armstrong, Jimmy Doolittle, Bea Haydu, John Glenn, Curtis LeMay, and Chuck Yeager. Students in GOE are responsible for researching and selecting Eagles, as well as planning and executing the GOE program. Selection to the GOE team is a two-part process: a resume application followed by a faculty interview.
The first official Gathering of Eagles (then known as "Great Moments in Aviation History") was held in 1982 when a small faculty and student group was chartered to develop an aviation heritage program. This initial cadre designed a program encouraging the study of aviation history and the contributions of aviation pioneers. Fifteen distinguished aviators were invited to share their unique personal experiences through a series of teaching interviews and social events with members of the class. They were a diverse group from many nations and services. The first "Eagles" — George Vaughn, Leigh Wade, Jimmy Doolittle, Curtis LeMay, George Gay, Joe Foss, John Mitchell, "Chuck" Yeager, Gail Halvorsen, Paul Tibbets, "Gabby" Gabreski, Robin Olds, Mike Novosel, "Pete" Knight and Neil Armstrong spanned aviation history from World War I to the Space Age. The Eagles who followed included Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., "Robbie" Risner, George Bush, John Glenn, Joe Engle, Jeremiah Denton, "Bud" Day, Dolphin D. Overton III, Ramon Colon-Lopez. and Major Bruce P. Crandall
- The article is based on the "Air Command and Staff College: Gathering of Eagles"[permanent dead link] page, which is in public domain, being public work of the United States Military