Saturday, March 8, 2008


In honor of MARCH--WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH, let me proudly introduce you to a few torchbearers and friends of the WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS OF WWII. THE WASP. These extraordinary women are serving our country with honor , enthusiasm--and with a passion to


Photo right: General Linda K. McTague and Nancy Parrish in front of Wings Across America's WASP tent in the parking lot of the Pentagon, 2007, at the Air Force Memorial dedication. Gen. McTague was kind enough to 'stand in' for the WASP, remaining at the tent and shaking hands, smiling, and sharing information about the WASP while the WASP were 'up the hill' attending the dedication ceremonies.

As the Director of Wings Across America, I could not be more proud of these patriots, who have served AND ARE serving our country with honor and distinction. THEY ARE the true legacy of the WASP as they continue, not only to tell the story, but to encourage others by living lives of service "above and beyond".


Brigadier General Linda K. McTague

is the Commander, 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. She is responsible for over 1200 personnel in support of both F-16 (Air Combat Command) fighter and C-38 and C-40 airlift (Air Mobility Command) aircraft missions. Brigadier General McTague was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1981. She earned both a Master of Science degree in Adult Education in 1980 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts in 1979 from Florida International University, Miami, Florida. She completed Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.

Brigadier General McTague is a Command Pilot, with over 5,250 flight hours in T-43, C-22, C-21, CT-39, UV-18, TG-7, T-38, and T-37 aircraft. Upon graduation from pilot training, she was assigned to Detachment 2, 1400th Military Airlift Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, as a CT-39 pilot. In 1984, she accepted a special duty assignment to the 94th Airmanship Training Squadron, United States Air Force Academy as a TG-7 instructor pilot. This assignment also led to qualification as an FAA Certified Flight Instructor in the SGS 2-22, 2-25, 2-32, 2-33, 1-26, and 1-34 sailplanes. After two years she moved to Detachment 1 of the 94th ATS to become a pilot for the Wings of Blue Air Force Parachute Team and served as the Operations Officer and flight examiner in the UV-18 aircraft. In December 1988, she joined Detachment 1, DCANG, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, as a C-21 pilot. In 1991, she attended Aircraft Munitions and Maintenance Officer School and served as the Assistant Chief of Maintenance and Chief of Maintenance. In 1994, she became the Commander, 113th Logistics Squadron, and subsequently served as the full-time 113th Logistics Group Commander while continuing to fly as an attached C-22 instructor pilot in the 201st Airlift Squadron. She commanded the 201st Airlift Squadron from 1 November 1997, until 22 July 2001, with a special tour of duty in 1999 as the Acting Vice Commander, Air Mobility Operations Control Center, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. From November 2001 until November 2003, she served as the Air National Guard Advisor to the Director of Operations, Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Brigadier General McTague is from Battle Creek, Michigan.

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: 5,250
Aircraft Flown: T-41; T-37; T-38; CT-39; TG-7; SGS-2-22, SGS 2-33, SGS 2-25, SGS 2-32, SGS 1-26, and SGS 1-34 sailplanes; UV-18; C-21; C-22; T-43
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
District of Columbia Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster


Brigadier General Janet A. Therianos

has been shining a light on the WASP as part of the USAF 60th Anniversary celebration. Her kindness and enthusiasm for honoring the WASP has been contagious. She is a true "TORCHBEARER".

General Therianos is the Special Assistant to the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force,
Washington, D.C. The Assistant Vice Chief of Staff is responsible for Air Staff organization and administration, serves as Deputy Chairman of the Air Force Council, and is the Air Force accreditation official for the Corps of Air Attach├ęs. In addition to her duties as the Special Assistant, General Therianos was responsible for the planning and execution of the Air Force's year-long 60th anniversary commemoration.

General Therianos entered the Air Force in 1980 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in aeronautical engineering. She is a command pilot with experience flying three major weapons systems. She has commanded the 344th Air Refueling Squadron, twice commanded the European Tanker Task Force, and was Commander of the 60th Operations Group. General Therianos has also served as the 60th Aerospace Expeditionary Group Commander in Southwest Asia for Operation Enduring Freedom. Additionally, she has held a variety of staff positions at the Air Staff, Air Combat Command, 15th Air Force and U.S. Transportation Command.

1980 Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1984 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1985 Marine Corps Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1986 Master of Business Administration degree, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston
1992 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1993 Master's degree in airpower art and strategy, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1998 Secretary of Defense Fellow, National Defense Fellowship Program, Northrop Grumman Corp., Baltimore, Md.
2003 General Manager Program, Harvard School of Business, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2006 Capstone Fellow, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,300
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, KC-135A, KC-135R/T, KC-10A and C-5

Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)


Dr. Christina L. Lafferty

“What makes human beings special is that we can look to future with a vision of where we want to go, but we can also look to our past to find that vision,” said Col. Christina Lafferty, senior Air Force Reserve adviser to the President of National Defense University. “The WASP are an integral part of Air Force history as well as human history. If we forget the tremendous accomplishments of these women, then we will have lost a very special part our past for ourselves and our children.” Col. Christine Lafferty.

Col. Lafferty spoke at the ground breaking ceremony at Avenger Field in 2005. She is a wonderful champion for the WASP. Thanks to Col. Lafferty, there were 4 WASP who were invited to the Air Force Memorial Dedication ceremony as special guests of the Air Force. When 14 WASP showed up to attend the event, she not only made sure they were all treated like VIP's, she managed to get every single WASP a priceless VIP ticket to the dedication ceremony.

Now retired from the USAF, Dr. Chris Lafferty is Professor of Behavioral Science, Department of Leadership and Information Strategy, and Director of Research and Writing, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. She joined the faculty there in 2004.

PHOTO: Nancy Parrish, Gen. Janet Therianous, WASP Deanie Parrish, Col. Chris Lafferty.

A commander during both Desert Shield/Storm and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Dr. Lafferty served 28 years in both the active duty Air Force and the Air Force Reserve in public affairs, logistics, policy development and, most recently, as the Senior Are Force Reserve Advisor to the National Defense University President and ICAF professor. Her past assignments include Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Reserve Affairs, the Pentagon, and Mission Support Group Commander, 908th Airlift Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. Dr. Lafferty’s civilian career has included work as an advance practice oncology nurse at Georgetown University Medical Center and Hospice of Northern Virginia. She has taught communications at Ohio University and Arizona State University; lectured at Air University, Howard University and The George Washington University, where she also served as adjunct professor at the Center for the Study of Learning; and worked as a defense analyst.

She is married to Dr. Brad D. Lafferty (USAF, Ret.). She and her therapy dog, Layla, are privileged to represent the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in outreach service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

2003 Doctor of Education; The George Washington University
2002 Air War College
1998 Master of Science in Nursing; George Mason University
1995 Associate of Science - Nursing; Troy State University
1988 Air Command and Staff College
1986 Squadron Officer School
1979 Officer Training School
1976 Master of Arts - Communication; The Ohio University
1974 Bachelor of Science - Education; The Ohio University
Functional Expertise:
Organization and Human Development - Communication (organizational and interpersonal) - Logistics (aerial port) - Public Affairs - Clinical Nursing (oncology and hospice) - Research & Writing
Area of interest: Central America


Captain Crystal Powers

“I have known about the WASP for many years,” said Capt. Crystal Powers, a 9th Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer pilot. “I have read many books about them and have helped to celebrate their history. I have, along with a lot of my friends, been inspired by what they have done. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a lot of women pilots in the Air Force today, but I hope, in some small way, to continue the traditions of excellence in flying for women today that were created by these outstanding women.”

PHOTO: B1-B launch SOUTHWEST ASIA - Capt. Crystal Powers, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron aircraft commander, settles into the pilot's seat of the B-1B Lancer bomber she will fly on a mission at a Southwest Asia air base Dec. 29.


If you have a quote to share or a WASP you have been inspired by, PLEASE email me.


posted by Nancy Parrish, Director

Wings Across America
1819 River Street
Waco, Texas 76706