AAAA and the Order of Saint Michael

AAAA and the Order of Saint Michael

© David Burton 2023

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     In April of 1990, when I was working as an engineer for a defense company, I made a presentation, titled "USE OF BATTLEFIELD INFORMATION FOR SURVIVABILITY", at the Eighth Annual AAAA (Army Aviation Association of America) ASE (Aircraft Survivability Equipment) Symposium in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. [1] I subsequently joined the AAAA and have remained a member to this day even though I have long since retired.

     Prior to my attending the ASE symposium back in 1990, I had not heard of the AAAA. Neither had I heard of the Archangel, Saint Michael. Afterward, I learned the following.

     “AAAA was formed in early 1957 by a small group of senior Aviation Officers in the active Army, the Reserve Forces of the U.S. Army and industry. The Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) is the only not-for-profit organization dedicated to representing the broad interests of Army Aviation.
     “With 79 Chapters worldwide, its membership of over 18,000 is comprised of Active Duty, Reserve Components (Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve), government civilian, retired, industry, affiliated organizations, and friends of Army Aviation.” (Ref. 2)

     Saint Michael to some extent represents the patron saint of the Army Aviation Association of America. Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank.

     Saint Michael is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i faith. The earliest surviving mentions of his name are in 3rd- and 2nd-century BC Jewish works, often but not always apocalyptic, where he is the chief of the angels and archangels and responsible for the care of Israel. Christianity adopted nearly all the Jewish traditions concerning him and he is mentioned explicitly in Revelation 12:7–12, where he does battle with Satan, and in the Epistle of Jude, where the author denounces heretics by contrasting them with Michael.[3]

     “Saint Michael is referred to in biblical writings as an archangel who wages war against evil. He was known as the heavenly prince or champion who specifically charged forward to guard and defend others. He is legendary as the leader of angels who fought a war in heaven and conquered the dragon and cast it down from the skies. Michael’s battles are an allegory of the struggle between good and evil. Throughout the centuries, Michael has been depicted with a sword fighting or standing over the conquered dragon.
     “The legendary image of Saint Michael defeating the dragon exemplifies the bravery and gallantry that we associate with the Aviation soldier. His angelic qualities demonstrate the boldness and swiftness of Army Aviation on the battlefield. As a brave warrior and protector, Saint Michael is the embodiment of courage and justice and is an appropriate symbol of the values and high level of excellence exhibited throughout Army Aviation.” (Ref. 4)

     The order of Saint Michael was established in 1990 as a joint venture between the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) and the U.S. Army Aviation Center (USAAVNC). Induction into the Order of Saint Michael recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation. Inductees must demonstrate an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serve the United States Army Aviation or civilian aviation community with distinction.[4]

     The AAAA primarily serves the military and civilian men and women who are involved with army aviation – mainly helicopters and other vertical lift aircraft. AAAA’s Industry Membership Program fosters approved and meaningful interchange between government and industry. Corporate representatives have the opportunity to stay informed with the changing Army Aviation community, participate in local and national meetings and to develop professional contacts critical to the corporation's current and future programs and plans. The ARMY AVIATION Magazine is the official publication of AAAA. The Magazine reports on news and developments pertinent to the field of U.S. Army Aviation. Published ten times a year, it features articles written by top ranking Army leaders, the Army Aviation Branch Chief and the pilots, maintainers, trainers and developers who shape Army Aviation. Each issue offers in-depth coverage of a specific development or program within U.S. Army Aviation along with exclusive content from key offices, agencies and operational units worldwide. AAAA offers the opportunity to members to exhibit. This opportunity is reserved for AAAA Industry members only. AAAA sponsors several Symposia annually that address specific subject areas such as Aviation Surivability Equipment, Avionics, Maintenance & Sustainment and Product Support. The annual Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit is the ONLY opportunity for the ENTIRE Army Aviation Community to gather in one place at one time to focus solely on Army Aviation. The AAAA Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships and interest free loans annually to members and their spouses, unmarried siblings and unmarried children and grandchildren of current and deceased AAAA members. Many recipients are the relatives of individual members under the Industry Membership Program. Members may also make corporate contributions to the Foundation and are recognized accordingly through the Corporate Matching Fund Scholarship Program.

     The AAAA magazine, Army Aviation, contains a variety of articles related to all aspects of Army aviation, including: Acquisition, Senior National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Leadership, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), Army Aviation Mission Solutions, Special Operations Aviation, Arming the Force, Aviation Survivability, Simulation & Training, State of the Enterprise Aviation, Aviation Sustainment & Acquisition, Aviation Support, Aviation Soldier Support, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Fixed Wing Update, Air Traffic Services, Acquisition Process, Research & Development/Science & Technology.

     The July 2023 issue of Army Aviationwill focus on Aviation Survivability which includes: Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE), countermeasures (CM), sensors - Electro-optical (EO) and Infrared (IR), radars; missile warning systems (MWS), radar warning receivers (RWR) & tactics, and Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE). Also in July, the annual Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) Symposium will take place. The ASE Symposium in 1990 was where I first became acquainted with the AAAA and the Order of Saint Michael.

  1. USE OF BATTLEFIELD INFORMATION FOR SURVIVABILITY; Presented to Eighth Annual AAAA ASE Symposium, AEL, Lansdale, PA ; 30-31 April 1990; Loral Infrared & Imaging Systems; SECRET.
  2. Army Aviation Association of America,, Accessed 4 January 2023.
  3. Michael (archangel), Wikipedia, Accessed 4 January 2023.
  4. ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL AWARD,, Accessed 4 January 2023.


  10 February 2023 {ARTICLE 564; UNDECIDED_74}    
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