|Chairman: Jay Campbell
President: Sterling Gilliam
The Tailhook Association is a U.S.-based, non-profit fraternal organization, supporting the interests of sea-based aviation, with emphasis on aircraft carriers. The word tailhook refers to the hook underneath the tail of the aircraft that catches the arresting wire suspended across the flight deck in order to stop the landing plane quickly.
The association was formed by active-duty naval aviators in 1956, eventually growing into a national organization headquartered in San Diego, California. During the Vietnam War, the annual Tailhook reunion and symposium also served to provide opportunities for aircrews from the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets to exchange information about events in Southeast Asia.
Among the Tailhook programs are publication of the quarterly journal The Hook, addressing historical and current events coverage; college scholarships via the Tailhook Educational Foundation; and local/regional "ready rooms" for those active and retired members who support fleet activities.
James D. “Jig Dog” Ramage Award
|Year||Aircraft Carrier||Carrier Air Wing|
|2001||USS George Washington (CVN-73)||CVW-17|
|2002||USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)||CVW-11|
|2003||USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)||CVW-14|
|2004||USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)||CVW-3|
|2005||USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)||CVW-3|
|2006||USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)||CVW-8|
Tailhooker Of The Year Award
|1963||CAPT||Richard “Doc” Phillips, MC||USN|
|1964||CAPT||Robert M. Elder||USN|
|1965||VADM||Paul D. Stroop||USN|
|1966||VADM||Paul H. Ramsey||USN|
|1967||ADM||Roy L. Johnson||USN|
|1968||ADM||Thomas H. Moorer||USN|
|1969||VADM||Thomas F. Connolly||USN|
|1971||VADM||Maurice F. Weisner||USN|
|1972||VADM||William D. Houser||USN|
|1973||VADM||Damon W. "Hutch" Cooper||USN|
|1974||VADM||Frederick H. Michaelis||USN|
|1975||VADM||Robert B. Baldwin||USN|
|1976||VADM||James B. Stockdale||USN|
|1977||VADM||Robert P. Coogan||USN|
|1978||ADM||Thomas B. Hayward||USN|
|1979||VADM||Frederick C. Turner||USN|
|1980||VADM||G.E.R. “Gus” Kinnear||USN|
|1981||RADM||Robert E. Kirksey||USN|
|1982||ADM||Wesley L. McDonald||USN|
|1983||VADM||Robert F. Schoultz||USN|
|1984||RADM||Jerry O. Tuttle||USN|
|1985||RADM||Paul T. Gillcrist||USN|
|1986||VADM||Edward H. Martin||USN|
|1987||CAPT||Byron L. Duff||USN|
|1988||CAPT||L. Robert Canepa||USN|
|1993||RADM||Lyle F. Bull||USN (Ret)|
|1994||CAPT||Fields Richardson||USN (Ret)|
|1995||RADM||Frederick L. Lewis||USN (Ret)|
|1996||CDR||Robert E. Stumpf||USN (Ret)|
|1997||ADM||Leighton W. Smith||USN (Ret)|
|1998||CAPT||Ken “Kilo” Parks||USN|
|1999||CAPT||Evan “Streak” Chanik||USN|
|2000||VADM||Michael L. Bowman||USN|
|2001||CAPT||George B. Dom||USN|
|LtCol||James L. Stalnaker||USMC|
|2002||CDR||Sterling Gilliam, Jr.||USN|
|LtCol||Gary Lee "Lurch" Thomas||USMC|
|LtCol||Wade E. "WZL" Weigel||USMC|
|Maj||Peter L "Mud Duck" McArdle||USMC|
|2006||CAPT||Kevin "Kid" Donnegan||USN|
|LtCol||John "Dog" Jansen||USMC|
|LtCol||Hunter "Hamster" Hobson||USMC|
Lifetime Achievement Award
|1993||RADM||James D. “Jig Dog” Ramage||USN (Ret)|
|1994||CAPT||Larry Flint||USN (Ret),|
|CAPT||W.D. “Bill” Knutson||USN (Ret)|
|1995||VADM||William D. Houser||USN (Ret)|
|CAPT||Robert M. Elder||USN (Ret)|
|1996||CAPT||Richard “Chick” Harmer||USN (Ret)|
|RADM||Paul T. Gillcrist||USN (Ret)|
|CAPT||Lou Kriser||USN (Ret)|
|1997||CAPT||Wynn Foster||USN (Ret)|
|CAPT||C.A.L. “Cal” Swanson||USN (Ret)|
|1998||CDR||Jack D. Woodul||USNR (Ret)|
|1999||RADM||Thomas F. Brown III||USN (Ret)|
|CAPT||Walter M. Schirra||USN (Ret)|
|2000||CAPT||Lonny K. McClung||USN (Ret)|
|CAPT||Richard L. “Zeke” Cormier||USN (Ret)|
|CDR||George “Buddy” Gilman||USNR (Ret)|
|2001||CAPT||Richard G. Hanecak||USN (Ret)|
|2002||RADM||Glen W. “Corky” Lennox||USN (Ret)|
|CDR||Dean S. “Diz” Laird||USN (Ret)|
|2003||RADM||Frederick “Bad Fred” Lewis||USN (Ret)|
|2004||CAPT||Jack Davis||USN (Ret)|
|2005||CAPT||Jerry Palmer||USN (Ret)|
|2006||CAPT||Steve Millikin||USN (Ret)|
|CDR||Jan Jacobs||USNR (Ret)|
The Hook Magazine Contributor of the Year
|1987||CAPT||Done East||USN (Ret)|
|1989||CAPT||Bill Scarborough||USN (Ret)|
|1993||CDR||Ernie Mares||USN (Ret)|
|1994||CDR||Jack Woodul||USNR (Ret)|
|1996||CDR||John B. Nichols||USN (Ret)|
|1997||Mr||Thomas F. Gates|
|1998||Mr||Mark Morgan (2)|
|LCDR||Rick Morgan (2)||USN (Ret)|
|2000||LCDR||E. Leigh Armistead||USN|
|2003||CDR||Peter Mersky||USNR (Ret)|
|2004||PHCS||Bob Lawson||USN (Ret)|
|2006||CDR||Robert R. “Boom” Powell||USN (Ret)|
Honorary Tailhooker of the Year
(Sponsored by the Boeing Company)
|2003||Hon||Gordon R. England||SECNAV|
|2004||Gen||William L. "Spider" Nyland||USMC|
|2006||AVCM||John Porter||USN (Ret)|
|2007||CDR||Ed “Tick” McCabe||USN (Ret)|
The Tailhook scandal
In September 1991, the 35th annual symposium in Las Vegas featured a two-day debrief on Navy and Marine Corps aviation in Operation Desert Storm. It was the largest such meeting yet held, with some 4,000 attendees: active, reserve, and retired personnel.
According to a Department of Defense (DoD) report, 83 women and 7 men stated that they had been victims of sexual assault and harassment during the meeting. Several participants later stated that a number of flag officers attending the meetings were aware of the sexual assaults, but did nothing to stop them.
The issues were never quite settled, and as late as 2002, the Tailhook chairman spoke dismissively of "the alleged misconduct that occurred in 1991".
Ultimately the careers of fourteen admirals and almost 300 naval aviators were scuttled or damaged by Tailhook. For example Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III and CNO Admiral Frank Kelso were both at Tailhook '91. Garrett ultimately resigned and Kelso retired early two years after the convention.
Author Jean Zimmerman developed the thesis that the scandal underscored the shifting status of women in the military and particularly the role of women in combat. As such, Tailhook can be seen as part of the evolution of the armed forces that continued through the losses of female soldiers in Iraq.
Some visitors to US Navy aircraft carriers who joined or left the ship on a Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft are issued "Tailhook certificates" by the Navy which commend them for "NAFOD and intestinal fortitude."
- Board of Directors
- Mission Statement
- Thompson II, Charles C. (1999). A Glimpse of Hell: The Explosion on the USS Iowa and Its Cover-Up. W. W. Norton. pp. 379–380. ISBN 0-393-04714-8.
- RADM Frederick L. Lewis, USN (Ret). "From the Chairman: Tailhook Association At Your Service". The Tailhook Association. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "Post Tailhook Punishment". Frontline, PBS. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- Zimmerman, Jean (1995). Tailspin: women at war in the wake of Tailhook. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-47789-9. OCLC 31607961.
- Mother Jones, 28 Feb 2013, The US Navy Spends $4 Billion On Fuel Every Year, retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- "TAILHOOK (BOTHSIDES) The Dream and the Reality". compilation by Dee Finney. 2001-07-18. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "the navy blues: Tailhook '91". Frontline, PBS. Retrieved 2007-08-13.