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Our mission in action


Our mission in action

The CAF Red Tail Squadron’s RISE ABOVE: Red Tail educational outreach program is changing hearts and minds with the inspirational history and lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Here are the 2020 Tuskegee Airmen Essay Contest Winners, please click on their names to read their essay!

Grades 4-5
1st place Caleb Bonner
2nd place Talia Herman
3rd place Harry Vandernoot

Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12


Here are snapshots of the mission in action, just a few of the many positive experiences that have resulted from sharing the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen in communities across the country!Texas – A young man visited the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit and was filled with enthusiasm after seeing the original film “Rise Above” inside the panoramic mobile movie theater. After an opportunity to meet original Tuskegee Airman Col Charles McGee, he was even more inspired to follow his dream. From that moment on he was determined to try out for the basketball team and do his best, despite having a medical condition that requires him to wear braces on his legs for support. On his own initiative, he researched to learn even more about the Tuskegee Airmen. The inspirational dog tag featuring the Six Guiding Principles he received from the CAF Red Tail Squadron became his constant companion. On the day of the try-outs, he held the dog tag in his hand and repeated, “Aim High, Believe in Yourself, and Never Quit!” Not only did this young man make the team, but he also scored two points in their first game!

Missouri – A young woman attended an airshow where the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit was making an appearance, but reluctantly registered to see the “Rise Above” movie. But after her inspirational experience in our immersive panoramic theater, she decided that she could take on the courage of the Tuskegee Airmen to Aim High and Believe In Herself to find the inner strength needed to fight her battle with cancer.

Florida – A young man was fighting a battle at school that no one was aware of. After watching the film “Rise Above,” he decided that if the Tuskegee Airmen could learn to fly, he could face his bully at school. He talked with his parents and then went to school wearing his inspirational dog tag. He explained the situation to his teacher and then to the principal. The problem was resolved, thanks to his courage and the inspirational message of the Tuskegee Airmen!

Ohio – A man who viewed the “Rise Above” film decided that he could still follow his dream to become a pilot. He had started the process earlier in his life, but gave up after other things got in the way. After being inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen, he put a plan in motion to go back and find the funding to follow his passion!

When I become a Tuskegee Airman,
I’m going to fly higher than a bird.
I am going to fly faster and faster.
I will listen as my wings soar through the air.
I will smell the fuels of the plane engines.
I will protect the bombers like they’re family.
I will feel the wind brushing upon my hands.
I will taste the double victory.
I will muscle my way through each mission
for I will aim high, believe in myself.
I will use my brain,
be ready to go,
never quit,
and expect to win,
when I get to be a Tuskegee Airmen.

By: H.J.
Student from the Ricks School at the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado.

I think the movie RISE ABOVE was amazing, I really enjoyed it. It taught me more about the Tuskegee Airmen, how to always have confidence and to believe in yourself. I feel that the movie told about the sacrifices the Airmen made.

The movie was way better than I expected it to be. I have to give credit to where credit is due, I have so much respect for the Airmen now because even though so many people didn’t believe in their abilities and didn’t believe in them they were willing to fight for their safety. That’s bravery at its finest.

The Tuskegee Airmen were also courageous. They portrayed pride, humility, and strength. The movie also gave me a chance to learn about black history. It’s amazing to see what the accomplished even after all the things that tried to hinder them.

Overall the movie was outstanding, I would love to see it again and bring my family. The film explains and shows America what kind of men made up this era of freedom fighters, it kind of gives you a feeling of patriotism. You could always make history more interesting if you try.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL