Captain Lance P. Sijan was the first and only Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously, in 1976. Lance received the military’s highest honor for his extraordinary courage, service and sacrifice as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. His strict adherence to the military code of conduct, in the face of unspeakable consequences is a testament to his unwavering commitment to serve at all costs.

The Air Force’s most prestigious leadership award has been given, in Lance’s honor, annually since 1981. Of the 660,000 airmen and women, four are recognized nationally with the Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award every year at the Pentagon.

The soldier that Lance became was based on the person that he always was – an artist, an athlete, a leader, a mentor and a friend. For those who knew Lance, even as a small child, it was clear what kind of person he would become.

The Lance P. Sijan Foundation (LPSF) was born not only to honor Lance’s legacy, but to equally encourage and celebrate the values that made him who he was. In a time where honor and integrity are fading from the public dialogue, and individual pursuit and gain are attempting to replace the importance of family, service and community, a return to our core ideals is essential.

This is a critical moment in our country’s history, with mounting challenges at home and abroad. Our way forward will be in large part determined by the effectiveness of our leadership. Whether governing or championing industry, not only will the choices we make be paramount, but the values and the spirit from which we make them help light the path to our future. The LPSF is committed to helping develop and honor leadership that will make us all proud for generations to come.