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Order of the Sword (United States)

The Order of the Sword is an honor awarded within the U.S. Air Force. It is defined in the Airman's Guide by Boone Nicolls as a "special program where noncommisioned officers of a command recognize individuals they hold in high esteem and wish to honor. Those selected for induction are usually honored during a formal ceremony at a dining-in.

Various webpages originating with the U.S. military claim an ancient origin for this order:

''The Order of the Sword recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the enlisted corps. Only seven other individuals have been so honored since 1978. The ceremonial presentation was adopted from the Royal Order of the Sword and passed to the United States during the Revolutionary War. However, it lay dormant until it was reinstituted in its current form in 1967.

The original order of the sword was patterned after two orders of chivalry founded during the Middle Ages in Europe: the (British) Royal Order of the Sword and the Swedish Military Order of the Sword, still in existence today. In 1522, King Gustavus I of Sweden ordered the noblemen commissioned by him to appoint officers to serve him, and these people became known as the noncommissioned officers.

Any "(British) Royal Order of the Sword" appears unknown to relevant reference works (such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica), and Britain was not a single kingdom in the Middle Ages. A "Swedish Military Order of the Sword" matching the description is not mentioned in Swedish reference works. The Royal Swedish Order of the Sword, a pure state decoration, not an independent order of chivalry, was founded only in 1748 by king Frederick I (two centuries after the reign of Gustavus I of Sweden), and all grades were limited to commissioned officers until 1850, when an affiliated decoration was established for non-commissioned officers. The Swedish order was made dormant in 1975, and as such it is no longer awarded.

Recipients

Names taken from Members of the Order of the Sword
Number Recipient MAJCOM Date
1 Brig Gen Roland J. Barnick MAC 26-May-67
2 Gen Howell M. Estes, Jr. MAC 20-Dec-67
3 Brig Gen Gilbert L. Curtis MAC 18-Jun-68
4 Brig Gen William V. McBride MAC 26-Feb-69
5 Col Reid J. Anderson MAC 26-Jul-69
6 Col Gilbert G. Smith, Jr. MAC 29-Jul-69
7 Col Thomas J. Arbogast MAC 12-May-70
8 Brig Gen Clare T. Ireland, Jr. MAC 23-Jul-70
9 Brig Gen John H. Germeraad MAC 2-Oct-70
10 Brig Gen John F. Gonge MAC 24-Feb-72
11 Gen Jack J. Catton MAC 20-Apr-71
12 Col Leonard V. Gillespie MAC 29-Sep-71
13 Honorable F. Edward Hebert MAC 28-Oct-71
14 Maj Gen Archie M. Burke NORAD 11-Feb-72
15 Brig Gen Richard M. Baughn USAFE 20-Mar-72
16 Maj Gen William G. Moore, Jr. MAC 6-May-72
17 Col Tedd L. Bishop MAC 14-Jul-72
18 Maj Gen Jerry D. Page ATC 25-Jul-72
19 Gen George B. Simler ATC 25-Aug-72
20 Brig Gen Van N. Blackman MAC 8-Sep-72
21 Col Robert H. Campbell MAC 11-Jun-73
22 Maj Gen Frank M. Madsen, Jr. ATC 24-Jan-74
23 Maj Gen Frank W. Elliott, Jr. ATC 26-Jul-74
24 Col James I. Baginski PACAF 29-Jul-74
25 Brig Gen Irbey B. Jarvis, Jr. AFLC 31-Oct-74
26 Brig Gen Thomas M. Sadler MAC 12-Mar-75
27 Maj Gen Lester T. Kearney MAC 21-May-75
28 Col Donald A. Michela PACAF 11-Aug-75
29 Brig Gen Harry A. Morris MAC 19-Sep-75
30 Maj Gen Leroy J. Manor PACAF 19-Apr-76
31 Brig Gen Emil N. Block MAC 9-Jun-76
32 Brig Gen James E. McAdoo AFRES 11-Oct-76
33 Lt Gen John W. Roberts ATC 12-Nov-76
34 Gen Paul K. Carlton MAC 11-Feb-77
35 Gen Louis L. Wilson PACAF 18-Mar-77
36 Gen Russell E. Dougherty SAC 5-Apr-77
37 Maj Gen Ralph S. Saunders MAC 6-May-77
38 Col James T. Albritton USAFE 6-May-77
39 Maj Gen Alden G. Glauch MAC 19-Jul-77
40 Brig Gen Kenneth D. Burns AFSS 20-Oct-77
41 Maj Gen Andrew P. Iosue ATC 3-Mar-78
42 Gen Robert J. Dixon TAC 10-Mar-78
43 Brig Gen James L. Wade AFRES 11-Mar-78
44 Maj Gen Thomas A. Aldrich MAC 30-Mar-78
45 Lt Gen Thomas W. Morgan AFSC 22-Apr-78
46 Col Sharman R. Stevenson PACAF 31-May-78
47 Gen David C. Jones SAC 31-May-78
48 Col Dale L. Oderman MAC 1-Jun-78
49 Lt Gen James D. Hughes TAC 3-Jun-78
50 Maj Gen Rupert H. Burris AFCS 19-Jul-78
51 Maj Gen Paul M. Myers AFSC 14-Sep-78
52 Lt Gen Bryon M. Shotts SAC 10-Oct-78
53 Lt Gen Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., (Ret) TAC 10-Nov-78
54 Maj Gen William Lyons AFRES 3-Mar-79
55 Maj Gen Benjamin F. Starr, Jr. MAC 10-Apr-79
56 Col Anthony J. Dibaggio USAFSS 19-Apr-79
57 Lt Gen Thomas P. Stafford AFSC 5-May-79
58 Brig Gen Ledroli Attilio ATC 6-Dec-79
59 Maj Gen William C. Norris USAFE 9-Apr-80
60 Maj Gen LeRoy W. Svendsen, Jr. AFMPC 10-Apr-80
61 Maj Gen Robert E. Sadler AFCS 12-Apr-80
62 Lt Gen Winfield Scott, Jr. AAC 16-May-80
63 CMSAF Donald L. Harlow, (Ret) TAC 20-May-80
64 Mr. Robert (Bob) Hope MAC 10-Jun-80
65 Col Thomas G. McInerney PACAF 22-Jul-80
66 Gen Curtis E. LeMay SAC 18-Sep-80
67 Gen Alton D. Slay AFSC 18-Oct-80
68 Brig Gen Sidney S. Novaresi AFRES 14-Mar-81
69 Brig Gen Alan G. Sharp AFRES 4-Apr-81
70 Gen Richard H. Ellis SAC 8-May-81
71 Maj Gen John T. Guice ANG 13-May-81
72 Lt Gen Walter D. Druen, Jr. USAFE 16-May-81
73 Gen Kenneth L. Tallman USAFA 21-May-81
74 Gen Robert E. Huyser MAC 19-Jun-81
75 Brig Gen Staryl C. Austin, (Ret) ANG 30-Oct-81
76 Maj Gen Doyle E. Larson ESC 27-Mar-82
77 Col Bruce M. Purvine MAC 3-Jun-82
78 Maj Gen Norma Brown ATC 11-Jun-82
79 Brig Gen Albert J. Kaehn, Jr. MAC 27-Jul-82
80 Maj Gen Kenneth L. Peek AFMPC 5-Nov-82
81 Col Lester R. Melott, Jr. ESC 13-Feb-83
82 Lt Gen Richard C. Henry AFSC 16-Apr-83
83 Lt Gen Robert W. Bazley USAFE 5-May-83
84 Gen James R. Allen MAC 18-May-83
85 Lt Gen Charles L. Donley, Jr. PACAF 28-May-83
Lt Gen Charles L. Donley, Jr. USAFE 21-Feb-87
86 Lt Gen Robert T. Herres AFCC 27-Aug-83
87 Gen Thomas M. Ryan, Jr. ATC 3-Sep-83
88 Gen W. L. Creech TAC 4-Feb-84
89 Gen Robert T. Marsh AFSC 16-Jun-84
90 Gen James V. Hartinger NORAD/SPACECOM29 Jun-84
91 Lt Gen James W. Stansberry AFSC 2-Sep-84
92 Maj Gen Donald W. Bennett MAC 12-Oct-84
93 Gen Bennie L. Davis SAC 18-Oct-84
94 Maj Gen John E. Taylor, Jr. USAFR 27-Oct-84
95 Maj Gen John B. Conaway ANG 10-Apr-85
96 Bri Gen Regis F. Urschler ESC 1-May-85
97 Maj Gen Cornelius Nugteren AFLC 31-May-85
98 Col Paul E. Landers, Jr. MAC 17-Jun-85
99 Maj Gen Sloan R. Gill AFRES 27-Oct-85
100 Col Robert D. Acres AFLC 2-Nov-85
101 Gen John L. Piotrowski TAC 24-Jan-86
102 Col James D. Elmer MAC 8-Feb-86
103 Gen Charles A. Gabriel USAF 22-Mar-86
104 Maj Gen Raymond A. Matera ANG 18-Apr-86
105 Brig Gen George E. Chapman MAC 26-Apr-86
106 Brig Gen Vernon J. Kondra MAC 14-Jun-86
107 Col Louis V. Pelini MAC 25-Jul-86
108 Maj Gen William J. Breckner, Jr. USAFE. 30-Aug-86
109 Gen Earl T. O'Loughlin AFLC 19-Sep-86
110 Brig Gen Floyd A. Hargrove MAC 11-Oct-86
111 Maj Gen Gerald L. Prather AFCC 17-Oct-86
112 Lt Gen Thomas C. Richards AU 1-Nov-86
113 Maj Gen Chris O. Divich ATC 15-Jan-87
114 Maj Gen Donald D. Brown MAC 31-Mar-87
115 Maj Gen Donald Snyder PACAF 8-Apr-87
116 Gen Lawrence A. Skantze AFSC 25-Apr-87
117 Brig Gen Richard S. Beyea, Jr. AFOSI 25-Sep-87
118 Col Richard C. Youngs AFRES 26-Sep-87
119 Maj Gen Jack W. Sheppard MAC 2-Oct-87
120 Lt Gen Edward L. Tixier PACAF 11-Jan-88
121 Lt Gen David L. Nichols AAC 7-May-88
122 Congressman Sonny Montgomery AFRES 12-May-88
123 Gen Jack I. Gregory PACAF 21-Jun-88
124 Maj Gen Ralph E. Spraker AFSPACECOM 1-Jul-88
125 Honorable Casper W. Weinberger USAF 19-Nov-88
126 Maj Gen Melvin G. Alkire AFCOMS 14-Jan-89
127 Gen William L. Kirk USAFE 18-Mar-89
128 Brig Gen Alfred P.Bunting ANG 28-Mar-89
129 Gen Alfred G. Hansen AFLC 28-Apr-89
130 Maj Gen Paul H. Martin ESC 14-Jul-89
131 Gen Duane H. Cassidy MAC 18-Aug-89
132 Maj Gen Fredric F. Doppelt AFSC 7-Oct-89
133 Maj Gen James C. Wahleithner AFRES 14-Oct-89
134 Maj Gen Vernon Chong ATC 2-Dec-89
135 Gen Larry D. Welch USAF 3-Mar-90
136 Gen Bernard P. Randolph AFSC 17-Mar-90
137 Col Edmund C. Morrisey, Jr., (Ret) ANG 20-Mar-90
138 Gen Robert D. Russ TAC 20-Apr-90
139 Maj Gen Robert B. Patterson, (Ret) MAC 20-Apr-90
140 Lt Gen Robert C. Oaks ATC 9-Jun-90
141 Maj Gen Larry N. Tibbetts ATC 20-Jun-90
142 Maj Gen Roger P. Scheer AFRES 25-Aug-90
143 Maj Gen Paul R. Stoney, (Ret) AFCC 25-Sep-90
144 Gen Michael J. Dugan USAFE 10-Nov-90
145 Lt Gen James B. Davis PACAF 24-Nov-90
146 Maj Gen Paul A. Harvey ATC 2-Feb-91
147 Lt Gen Charles R. Hamm USAFA 26-Apr-91
148 Lt Gen Gordon E. Fornell AFSC 11-May-91
149 Gen John T. Chain, Jr. SAC 13-Jan-91
150 Lt Gen Donald L. Cromer AFSC 17-May-91
151 Col Richard F. Law AFOSI 20-Jun-91
152 Maj Gen Richard M. Pascoe TAC 16-Jul-91
153 Maj Gen Joseph A. Ahearn USAF 21-Aug-91
154 Lt Gen Richard J. Trzaskoma MAC 27-Sep-91
155 Lt Gen Robert H. Ludwig AFCC 28-Sep-91
156 Gen Charles C. McDonald AFLC 29-Feb-92
157 Lt Gen Charles A. Horner TAC 14-Mar-92
158 Lt Gen Clifford H. Rees, Jr. USAFE 25-Jul-92
159 Col Charles L. Fox PACAF 20-Oct-92
160 Gen Hansford T. Johnson AMC 6-Feb-93
161 Gen Charles G. Boyd AU 25-Feb-93
162 Maj Gen John S. Fairfield AFCC 11 My 1993
163 Maj Gen Philip G. Killey ANG 9-Nov-93
164 Gen Ronald Fogleman AMC 14-May-94
165 Maj Gen Robert S. Deligatti USAFE 29-Apr-94
166 Lt Gen Bradley C. Hosmer USAFA 29-Apr-94
167 Gen Ronald W. Yates AFMC 5-Mar-94
168 Maj Gen Robert A. McIntosh AFRES 29-Jul-94
169 Gen Merrill A. McPeak HQ USAF 20-Aug-94
170 Gen Robert L. Rutherford PACAF 23-Aug-94
171 Gen Henry Viccellio AETC 1-Oct-94
172 Maj Gen Kenneth A. Minihan AIA 24-Oct-94
173 Lt Gen Edward P. Barry AFMC 18-Nov-94
174 Gen Thomas Moorman AFSPC 28-Nov-94
175 Gen John Michael Loh ACC 25-Feb-95
176 Lt Gen Malcolm B. Armstrong AMC 23-Sep-95
177 Gen James L. Jamerson USAFE 18-Nov-95
178 Gen Joseph W. Ashy AFSPC 17-Aug-96
179 Col John E. Killeen AFSPA 14-Sep-96
180 Dr. William J. Perry HQ USAF 19-Oct-96
181 Gen James E. Sherrard AFRES 2-Nov-96
182 Maj Gen James L. Hobson, Jr. AFSOC 24-Jan-97
183 Gen John G. Lorber PACAF 30-Jun-97
184 Lt Gen Paul E. Stein USAFA 12-Jul-97
185 Maj Gen Donald W. Shepperd NGB 4-Nov-97
186 Col John L. Hayes AFWA 4-Apr-98
187 Gen Michael E. Ryan USAFE 17-Apr-98
188 Gen Walter Kross AMC 18-Jul-98
189 Gen Howell M. Estes III AFSPC 7-Aug-98
190 Lt Gen Kenneth E. Eickmann AFMC 15-Aug-98
191 Gen Richard E. Hawley ACC 17-Apr-99
192 Gen Lloyd W. Newton AETC 18-Jun-99
193 Col Raymond W. Owens III AFOSI 21-Oct-99
194 Maj Gen Paul A. Weaver Jr. ANG 22-Nov-99
195 Gen. Charles R. Holland AFSOC 22-Jan-00
196 Gen George T. Babbitt AFMC 27-Mar-00
197 Gen John P. Jumper USAFE 8-Apr-00
198 Brig Gen (Ret) Steven A. Roser AMC 14-Apr-00
199 Lt Gen Tad J. Oelstrom AFSOC 7-Jun-00
200 Brig Gen Richard A. Coleman AFSFC 24-Aug-00
201 Honorable F. Whitten Peters HQ USAF 16-Dec-00
202 Brig Gen (Ret) Heinie Aderholt AFSOC 18-Jan-01
203 Gen Patrick Gamble PACAF 6-Apr-01
204 Maj Gen David E. Tanzi AFRES 2-Jun-01
205 Gen Charles T. Robertson AMC 3-Nov-01
206 Gen Ralph E. Eberhart AFSC 25-Jan-02
207 Lt Gen Maxwell C. Bailey AFSOC 15-Mar-02
208 Gen Lester L. Lyles AFMC 7-Nov-02
209 Gen Gregory S. Martin USAFE 30-Mar-03
210 Maj Gen Timothy J. McMahon ACC 22-Oct-04
211 Honorable James G. Roche (SECAF) HQ USAF 13-Sep-04
212 Gen William J. Begert PACAF 30-Jun-04
213 Gen Hal M. Hornburg ACC 22-Oct-04
214 Gen Paul V. Hester AFSOC 5-Nov-04
215 Lt Gen John D. Hopper, Jr. AETC 10-Dec-04
216 Gen Donald G. Cook AETC 14-Jun-05
217 Maj Gen Tommy Crawford 11th Wing 22-Jul-05
218 Gen. John W. Handy AMC 29-Jul-05
219 Gen Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong USAFE 26-Aug-05
220 Brig Gen Francis X. Taylor AFOSI 16-Sep-05
221 Lt. Gen. Daniel James III ANG 16-Nov-05
222 Gen Lance W. Lord AFSPC 11-Feb-06
223 Gen Duncan McNabb AMC 16-Sep-07
224 Lt Gen Michael Wooley AFSOC 21-Sep-07
225 Gen William T. Hobbins USAFE 17-Nov-07
226 Gen Bruce Carlson AFMC 6-Dec-07
227 Gen William R. Looney III AETC 30-May-08

Notes

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