24 Jun 2021
Last night Jim Demarest hosted a Zoom call for anyone interested in helping with the MoH project. He gave some additional background and previously unpublished details on Steve's mission and why the timing may be right to undertake an upgrade effort. He acknowledged that the campaign will be a "heavy lift" but that plenty of people and organizations (both within and outside of our class) have expressed willingness to help. Even if ultimately unsuccessful, this campaign will help publicize and honor Steve's ultimate sacrifice.
If you would like to view a recording of the 40-minute Zoom call, you can do so by clicking here.
Jim also passed along a few documents related to the effort:
- A bullet background paper summarizing Steve's final mission and the upgrade effort
- A fact sheet giving some additional background and detail
- A scanned copy of the recent Air Force Magazine story about Steve's mission and the upgrade campaign
You can view these documents by clicking the links above, and they are also listed on the "Links and Project Documents" page of this website.
16 Jun 2021
Today Jim Demarest, President of the USAFA Class of 1982, issued this news release to the class:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USAFA Class of 1982 launches Steve Phillis Medal of Honor committee:
The United States Air Force Academy Class of 1982 announces the launch of the Captain Steve Phillis Medal of Honor committee. After polling over 130 members of the class, 90% supported upgrading Steve's combat valor award to preserve our Air Force heritage, and recognize the contributions and sacrifice of Captain Steve Phillis, who was shot down and killed under heroic circumstances during his thirtieth mission of Operation Desert Storm on February 15, 1991.
Eighty two members of the class offered to dedicate time to this campaign, and will work through a series of committees to create the upgrade award package, engage members of Congress, advocate for support from current and former Air Force members, and drum up White House support.
Class president Brigadier General Jim Demarest will spearhead this effort, and along with the Class of 1982, will work tirelessly to get Captain Steve Phillis the recognition he deserves for his selfless sacrifice, in the face of great danger, to save his wingman, fellow Academy graduate Rob Sweet.
You can track the progress of this effort by visiting this section of the Class of '82 website.
Jim Demarest also set up a Zoom meeting to provide interested class members an overview of Steve Phillis' combat heroics and the basis for upgrading his Silver Star, explain the valor award upgrade process, and answer any questions before committee assignments and taskings are made.
Here are the details:
Class of 1982 Steve Phillis MOH Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, June 23rd, 8pm EDT
08 Jun 2021
Today Lt Col Rob Sweet, USAFA Class of 1988, and Steve Phillis' wingman the day they were both shot down during Desert Storm, retired from the Air Force Reserve. You can read an article about the retirement here.