The MCAA was chartered as a non-profit organization in 1972, after its founding organization, the First Marine Aviation Force Veterans Association (FMAFVA), by necessity, passed into history. The FMAFVA bylaws stipulated that membership would be limited to those who had served in WWI, thereby guaranteeing an end to an illustrious organization.
However, the need for continuing such a valuable organization was widely recognized, and the MCAA was quickly formed by active duty Marines. The FMAFVA had inaugurated a prestigious annual award that began what would evolve into the largest military Aviation Awards Program in existence. The Alfred A. Cunningham Award, named in honor of the "Father of Marine Corps Aviation," had first been presented in 1962 to the Marine Aviator of the Year. The recipient was LtCol John H. Glenn, Jr.
Since 1972, the MCAA, with a national headquarters located in Quantico, Virginia, has expanded the Aviation Awards Program to include twenty-eight awards. Each award is named in honor of a former Marine who made noteworthy contributions in his field, with the exception of The Commandant's Aviation Trophy which goes to an outstanding squadron, and The Silver Hawk Award which is presented to the active duty Marine Aviator holding the earliest designation date.
The awards are portioned equally between fixed-wing and rotor-wing assets, and between enlisted Marines and Marine officers. The full spectrum of Marine Corps Aviation is included in the Awards Program.
MCAA corporate members, composed of corporations and businesses which support Marine Corps Aviation, sponsor the Awards Program. Each sponsor provides a permanent trophy inscribed with past recipients, and underwrites attendance for awardees at the Annual Symposium and Convention. Historically, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and the sponsoring industry representative present the prestigious awards at a formal banquet.
Not a member of the MCAA? JOIN now!