MADISON, Wis. — Two retired Airmen were inducted into the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters Oct. 14.
Col. Michael T. Hinman and Lt. Col. Donald L. Schuh each received plaques in recognition for their exemplary contributions to the Wisconsin Air National Guard as well as proclamations signed by Gov. Scott Walker.
Established in 1982, the Wisconsin Air National Guard Hall of Fame honors Airmen whose special contributions helped ensure the overall success of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. The award recognizes Airmen who contribute to influential programs which significantly improve the Wisconsin Air National Guard and who exhibit the highest level of dedication.
“I think any of us who have worn the uniform and had the privilege to wear the uniform understand how special it is,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “These few, these tiny few over the thousands who’ve served in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, that’s pretty extraordinary.”
Hinman and Schuh represent the best of the Wisconsin National Guard – an organization charged with the ever-important dual mission of serving as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force as well as the first military responder in the homeland in times of emergency.
Hinman, who joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1990, brought with him 14 years of experience of active duty service. His duties in the Guard ranged from civil engineer with the 115th Civil Engineer Squadron, to quality management, maintenance and logistics positions of high importance. He served as the 115th Mission Support Group commander, 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, and later was appointed vice commander of the 115th. He presently serves as the executive assistant to the adjutant general, a civilian position.
Hinman thanked the many general officers who were present at the ceremony for believing in him and giving him opportunities. He also made it a point to thank his enlisted comrades as well.
“The success of any officer in the ranks today can be attributed to the sage council we receive from our senior enlisted leaders,” Hinman said.
There was an emotional moment when Hinman thanked his brother-in-law, a retired Vietnam War veteran who was present at the ceremony.
“Thank you for encouraging me to join the military and to make something out of my life,” Hinman said.
Hinman’s daughters could not be present at the ceremony, but one was able to tune into the event via Facebook Live streaming.
“While the Hall of Fame recognition is an accomplishment, having two wonderful daughters is what I’m most proud of,” Hinman stated.
Schuh enlisted in 1957, but later joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1968. As a Guard member with the 115th Supply Squadron, he attained the rank of master sergeant and was recognized for superior knowledge in supply operations there.
Schuh commissioned as a captain in 1967 with job titles ranging from team chief to chief of supply. He worked his way up through the ranks until earning a promotion to lieutenant colonel. and assigned as the commander of the 115th Resource Management Squadron at Truax Field. He also served as the National Guard Bureau field representative for several weapons systems.
Schuh’s exemplary service while in uniform speaks for itself, but his nearly 25 years of volunteer service after retirement with the Retiree Activities Office (RAO) is worthy of extraordinary respect.
“I certainly want to thank anybody who had anything to do with me getting this award,” Schuh remarked.
“I don’t really feel deserving in a lot of ways because I’ve had such good times throughout the years, first in the unit and especially in the Retiree Activities Office,” he added. “It’s just been a pleasure being in there.”
Schuh told the audience about how he came to be a member of the RAO, which provides information and resources to retired military members, and spoke about the rewards of the job.
“Being able to help so many people get the benefits that they’ve earned through their military careers,” Schuh said, “was what made it so enjoyable.”
Since its inception, 65 outstanding individual members and 1 team have been honored with induction to the Hall of Fame for their service.