100-year-old Tuskegee Airman receives promotion


It has been a busy week for Colonel Charles McGee. First, he was honored alongside three other 100-year-old veterans at the Super Bowl. That was on Feb. 2.

On Feb. 4, he was promoted to brigadier general in the Oval Office by President Trump himself.

“At first I would say ‘wow,’ but looking back, it would have been nice to have had that during active duty, but it didn’t happen that way,” McGee said in a release. “But still, the recognition of what was accomplished, certainly, I am pleased and proud to receive that recognition and hopefully it will help me carry on as we try to motivate our youth in aviation and space career opportunities.”

McGee began his career in June of 1943 as part of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots known for combat success as well as aiding the cultural shift of the military.

He was in the Air Force for three decades and flew more than 400 combat missions in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War. In that time he has earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation.

“Charles McGee is a genuine American hero whose courage in combat helped save a nation, and whose legacy is felt to this day across the entire U.S. Air Force,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “It was an honor to witness his promotion and to thank him yet again for paving the way for today’s Air Force. The Tuskegee Airmen continue to inspire generations of Americans.”

McGee was also the president’s guest at the State of the Union address.