Neil Armstrong (1997)
Award Presented at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Neil Armstrong completed the first landing mission to the moon in 1969 with Apollo 11 colleagues Mike Collins and Buzz Aldrin. As spacecraft commander, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first person to land a craft on the moon and the first to step on its surface. Associated with NASA and its predecessor agency for 17 years as engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator, Armstrong subsequently became Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and, from 1982-92, Chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc. He is now Chairman of AIL Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of aerospace electronics. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. His many honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Gold Medal, and the Harmon International Aviation Trophy. He has been a pilot for a half century, and remains an active pilot.