PA Air National Hall of Fame inducts former 111th ATKW member

  • Published
  • By Jon Dahms

Retired Col. Elwood H. Hippel, Jr. was inducted into the Pennsylvania Air National Guard Hall of Fame on June 4, 2023, at Biddle Air National Guard Base, Horsham, Pennsylvania, in recognition of his many years of outstanding service to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

Hippel distinguished himself through outstanding leadership and service to the United States of America, the PAANG, the United States Courts/Department of Justice, and the community during a career spanning 37 years, from 1968 to 2005, and beyond.

Brig. Gen. Mark A Goodwill, Assistant Adjutant General - Air for the PAANG, presided over the induction ceremony, which was attended by several former and current PAANG commanders and senior enlisted leaders, as well as several PAANG Hall of Fame members.

During his remarks, Goodwill said it was clear why Hippel was deserving of the honor.

“When you look at his resume, it’s very easy to see why he was nominated and selected for the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. He is really the epitome of one of our core values: service before self. And when you read his resume it really jumps out at you, not only what he's done in uniform throughout his career, but also in retirement.”

Hippel joined the 111th Tactical Air Support Group in 1974. He was commissioned in May 1978 and was appointed Chief of Social Actions in 1980. Hippel was selected to become the Wing Executive Officer in 1995.

In 1997, Hippel was hand-picked to serve as Logistics Squadron commander, simultaneously serving as the Survival Recovery Center Commander, helping lead the wing through a highly successful Operational Readiness Inspection.

Hippel was promoted and became commander of the 111th Logistics Group in 2000. His sage leadership guided the group through two successful deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch, while achieving the highest levels of safety, readiness, and reliability resulting in the wing’s third consecutive Air Combat Command Flight Safety Award.

During 2002, Hippel served as senior director of the Air National Guard Crisis Action Team, Andrews Air Force Base, Va., in support of ANG Forces for Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch.

Between March 2003 to July 2005, Hippel was assigned as Director of Support for the PAANG and assigned as Deputy Director, Communications, Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard.

In 2005, Hippel stepped outside his area of expertise to serve as interim commander of the 193d Medical Group. His fresh perspectives led the Group through significant process improvements. Hippel retired from the PAANG in July 2005. He continued to serve people and his nation in retirement as a Senior Instructor with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps between 2006 and 2007 recognized as the Senior Aerospace Instructor of the Year. Between 2007 and 2011, he served as Director of JROTC for the Philadelphia School District, serving over 15 tri-service JROTC programs.

Since 2009, Hippel has been a member of the Chalfont VFW Post 3258. He was elected and served as Commander between 2012 and 2019. For the past several years, this All-State Post has adopted the 111th Attack Wing, and the 55th Stryker Brigade Support Battalion, 28th Infantry Division, Army National Guard and supports both Family Readiness Groups with Post food card donations and other contributions.

In July 2019 Hippel entered service with the Veterans Treatment Court in Bucks County as a mentor to assist veterans toward successful completion of the program and their ultimate rehabilitation.

Election to the PAANG Hall of Fame signifies recognition of unique and exemplary contributions to the PAANG. It also recognizes individuals, both members and non-members of the PAANG, whose extraordinary achievements or contributions have brought honor and prestige to the PAANG. Election to the Hall of Fame is the highest honor that can be conferred on an individual for contributions to the PAANG.

Hippel addressed the audience thanking his wingmen and his family for not only their attendance, but their support throughout the years. He was especially thankful to the 111th Attack Wing and its leadership for hosting the ceremony during a busy June weekend that included family day.

Hippel also said he was happy to have the ceremony close to home.

“Thank you all as well for hosting here today,” said Hippel. “I know this is an incredibly busy weekend for you, with guard weekend and certainly with family day and all the things that go along with that. I certainly appreciate this ceremony being here as opposed to another place, because it does mean a great deal to me, and to my family and friends, who are close by.”