Brigadier General "Bud" Anderson: Promoted at 100
Living Legend, American Treasure
On December 2nd, 2022, Col. "Bud" Anderson, the highest scoring living US Fighter Ace, and the only surviving US Triple Ace Fighter Pilot, advanced to the rank of Brigadier General. He turns 101 years old on January 13th.
Imagine what an honor it must have been for his family to witness. Brig. Gen. Anderson's promotion was recognized at a ceremony at the Aerospace Museum of California, near Sacramento, packed with a room full of family, friends, and dignitaries.
When one of the world's greatest aviators, and one of America's bravest hero's gets awarded Brigadier General, they bring in the big guns.
The Presiding Officer officiating the ceremony was none other than General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
As Chief, Gen. Brown is responsible for the organization, training and equipping of nearly 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving the United States and overseas.
Remarks By Presiding Officer
During his remarks Gen. Brown said, "I get service records of each member of the Air Force I have a chance to promote. Bud, your binder was pretty thick... the impact you had on the history of our Air Force reminds me how fortunate we are to stand on the shoulders of gentlemen like you, and those other ladies and men who have served within our Air Force to make us great... I consider you, Bud Anderson, General Office Material."
Pinning of Insignia
Gen. Brown has crossed paths with Anderson on three other occasions. But on this day, the General was proud to pin the insignia on Anderson's shoulders and as he did, the room burst in applause and tears of gratitude.
"Bud," said Gen. Brown, "Thank you for making this day possible. Thank you for your service, and thank you for all you've done for our United States Air Force and for our nation as you continue to serve."
Unfurling of Personal Flag
General officers are presented with their own flag upon promotion to Brigadier General. Brig. Gen. Anderson was no exception.
Remarks by Honoree
Brig. Gen. Anderson was given the microphone to make some remarks after his historic promotion. In his Bud-like fashion he had this to say:
"First I want to thank everyone here for coming and for anyone here who had anything to do with my promotion... I usually either have a short talk or a long talk. The short one is 'Thank you...' and the long one is 'Thank you very much.' But this evening exceeds that phrase. To see the Chief of Staff himself come to do this is a bit overwhelming. And to my many friends out there in the crowd I didn't expect to see... thank you very much."
A young Super Fan with his dad attending the ceremony... donning all the right patches, of course.
Cake and refreshments were served following the ceremony. And yes, there was some Old Crow whiskey as well, (Old Crow is the name Brig. Gen. Anderson gave to all his aircraft).
Where Does He Go From Here?
How do you top a promotion to Brigadier General at age 100? As the original Top Gun being honored in the center of the room said in his terrific book, To Fly and Fight: "soldier on."
To learn more about Brig. Gen. "Bud" Anderson order his book - and take a look at this article: As The Old Crow Flies. My hero. My friend. A living legend and National Treasure.