DSC_2329The CAF Red Tail Squadron is proud to share that Bill Shepard has been promoted to the position of Squadron Leader. Bill has been an outstanding volunteer and advocate for the organization since 2009, piloting the Squadron’s P-51C Mustang around the country and speaking to thousands about the importance of the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The ability to lead the CAF Red Tail Squadron requires more than aviation operations knowledge and management skill, but a keen desire and passion to carry on the vision of our late founder, Don Hinz.

“I never had the opportunity to meet Don, but I pledge to be true to his vision to carry the lessons and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen into every classroom in America. We will be giving so much more than a history lesson. Our inspirational and exciting message helps these kids learn how to apply the Airmen’s guiding principles to their own lives and find their own success,” said Shepard.

Bill is the manager of supply chain management for Fortune Minerals, and is also the firm’s manager of community engagement, bringing a unique talent for community relations to the role of Squadron Leader. In addition to his volunteer service with the CAF Red Tail Squadron, he has held leadership positions with the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, Tuskegee Airmen National Museum and the Urban Pilots Network. He has had his pilot’s license since the age of 16, and his passion for aviation has been a guiding force in his life since he was just a kid.

Bill’s vision for the future of the CAF Red Tail Squadron includes a commitment to sustainability and operational excellence. “I have profound respect for the Tuskegee Airmen and it is my honor to continue upon the foundation that was put in place by the Squadron leaders before me,” he said. “One of my highest priorities is to increase our impact on the communities we visit. We are fortunate to be a living, flying history museum. Our educational outreach mission will continue to grow as we engage with more people, grow our volunteer base and garner the support needed to visit new areas and communities that are in greatest need of our inspirational message.”

It is through 30 years of industry experience – and a deep love of aviation and respect for the Tuskegee Airmen – that his life’s work has brought him to this juncture. Bill understands the responsibility set before him, one of great importance, and has already demonstrated a level of commitment and integrity to the Tuskegee Airmen and the Red Tail Squadron that has been appreciated by his peers. “The selection of Bill Shepard to take on this important role was a wonderful choice,” said Stephan Brown, president of the Commemorative Air Force. “He has shown great skill and dedication in his years with the CAF Red Tail Squadron and we look forward to his continued success as he implements his own vision for leadership and growth.”

brad & billThe CAF Red Tail Squadron would also like to thank Brad Lang outgoing Squadron Leader, for his extraordinary volunteer service to the organization. Under his leadership, Brad has overseen the rapid expansion of the Squadron’s educational outreach efforts, including the debut of the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit. Himself the son of an original Tuskegee Airman, he leaves a lasting impact on the mission of the Red Tail Squadron to educate audiences around the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Bill remarked that he would like to recognize the staff and volunteers of the CAF Red Tail Squadron, and that the organization continues to be successful because of the group that has been developed and their collective professional and personal dedication to the mission.

“It’s a good work of many. I tip by hat to our outstanding staff and volunteers across the country. It’s my watch now and I hope to make everyone proud.”

Congratulations Bill Shepard on your promotion to Squadron Leader! RISE ABOVE!

Bill Shepard

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Learn more at www.redtail.org.

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