Washington Court House City Schools (WCHCS) inducted Dr. John W. Leland into the WCHCS 2019 Academic Hall of Fame on Monday evening.
Each year, the school district takes time out of the year to remember its alumni and their contributions to the community. Through this process they honor the individual by inducting them into the WCHCS Academic Hall of Fame. This year, Dr. Leland — who was inducted because of his extensive academic work as a civilian historian with the United States Air Force — was the honoree.
On Monday at The Highland House Restaurant and Event Centre, a ceremony was held for his induction and Dr. Leland, a member of the Washington High School Class of 1959, had the opportunity to speak to the crowd to explain what the membership means to him.
“Membership in the Hall of Fame is the capstone of my career as a student and as a historian,” Dr. Leland said. “It has brought my educational journey full circle, back to the place where it began more than 70 years ago. The foundation of my life was formed right here in Washington Court House — by my elementary and secondary school teachers and by the countless men and women I knew of all ages and from all walks of life. It is a tremendous honor, and I am grateful.”
A short bio of Dr. Leland was also recently submitted by WCHCS to paint a picture of just who he is.
Dr. Leland served as a civilian historian with the United States Air Force for 37 years, rising to the office of Deputy Command Historian of the Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, at the time of his retirement. He was a specialist in humanitarian airlift and air mobility operations during the Persian Gulf War, and his many publications include Military Airlift Command and the Afghan Humanitarian Relief Program (USAF Excellence in Monographs Award, 1990); Humanitarian Airlift to Soviet Armenia (1990); and Operations Provide Hope: A Humanitarian Airlift to the States of the Former Soviet Union (USAF Excellence in Historical Publications Award, 1993).
Over the years, Dr. Leland researched and wrote significant portions of 36 Strategic Air Command and Air Mobility Command annual histories and several dozen other official USAF studies and reports, as well as conducted and transcribed many oral history interviews with USAF leaders. For 13 years, he served as a research/writing instructor at the Unit Historian Development Course, the training school for USAF non-commissioned officer historians at the Air University located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Dr. Leland’s research and detailed histories remain influential in the United States Air Force community to this day. He also regularly contributes Fayette County historical articles to the Record-Herald.
Dr. Leland is the 15th member to be inducted and joins a list of alumni who have worked in the White House, at NASA, and even as a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Nominations for the 2020 WCHCS Academic Hall of Fame are now open and individuals who wish to submit an nomination may do so to the WCHCS Central Office.
The information in this article was submitted by Trevor Patton director of marketing and communications at WCHCS.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.