Section 1: USPA

Section 2: BSRs

Section 3: Classification

Section 4: ISP

Section 5: General

Section 6: Advanced

Section 7: PRO

Section 8: Awards

Section 9: FAA Documents

Glossary & Appendices



Section 8: Membership Awards Programs

Section Summary

Important Reference Numbers

  • USPA Chesley H. Judy Safety Award instructions—8-1.3
  • Service awards, including recipients of the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award and Gold Medal for Meritorious Service—8-1.4-5
  • Achievement awards, including rules for accumulating number of jumps or freefall time—8-2
  • Performance awards, including rules for accomplishments in canopy formation—8-3
  • Tenure Awards—8-4

USPA presents awards to individual members in recognition of their accomplishments in skydiving. These awards programs have been established to provide both goals and recognition in a variety of fields. Each of these awards represents a significant milestone achieved by an individual skydiver.

Service awards are reserved for special USPA members whose contributions to the organization and the sport meet the criteria established by the award.

Achievement awards are earned by accumulating numbers of jumps (by thousands) or freefall time (12-hour increments).

Performance awards are presented for accomplishments in canopy formations.

Tenure awards are granted for longevity, measured by years of USPA membership.

who  needs  this  section?

  • jumpers applying for USPA awards
  • jumpers nominating others for USPA awards
  • USPA officials verifying awards
  • USPA Board members seeking procedures for awards nominations and selection
  • anyone interested in reviewing some of the most notable USPA members over the years


8-1 Service Awards

A. Introduction

  1. The USPA Membership Services Committee is charged by the USPA Board of Directors with the preparation of recommendations of USPA members who are eligible for major national and international awards, medals, and other special recognitions.
  2. Final action on these recommendations is the responsibility of the full board of directors, but all members of the association are invited to submit nominations to the Membership Services Committee, via USPA Headquarters, for any and all awards.
  3. The Membership Services Committee will consider only nominees who have served the cause and interests of skydiving in general and the USPA in particular.
  4. No current member of the USPA Board of Directors will be recommended by USPA for any award during the term of office.

B. Procedures

Note: the following procedures apply to all service awards except the USPA Chesley H. Judy Safety Award, which is provided in the section for that specific award.

  1. Nominations
    1. Identify the nominee, including address and telephone number.
    2. Identify the nominator, including email address and telephone number.
    3. Prepare the citation in 30 words or less capturing the essence of the achievement for which the nominee’s name has been submitted.
    4. In 100 words or less, give complete, concise details justifying the award to the nominee, with pertinent background information to assist the committee.
    5. Nominations for all USPA awards must be received at USPA Headquarters at least 10 business days prior to the summer USPA Board of Directors meeting.
    6. Nominations for all non-USPA awards must be received at USPA Headquarters before the next upcoming USPA Board of Directors meeting.
    7. Previous nominations may be considered by the Membership Services Committee in future years without resubmission.
  2. Selection
    1. After a review of all nominees proposed, the Membership Services Committee will present to the full board a list of those nominees for which the board’s endorsement is requested.
    2. By a two-thirds majority and secret ballot in closed session, the USPA Board of Directors will select the candidates for the year being considered from those nominations presented by the committee.
    3. If the USPA Board approves nominations for NAA and/or FAI awards, the chair of the Membership Services Committee will forward appropriate letters of recommendation not later than the deadline imposed for the specific award, in support of each candidate endorsed by the USPA Board, together with necessary supporting documents and evidence to the National Aeronautic Association.
  3. Follow-up
    1. The chair will then follow up personally if necessary with each of the aviation organizations sponsoring the various national and international awards to ensure that USPA nominees are properly evaluated.
    2. Within 24 hours of the decision by the USPA Board of Directors to select or nominate a recipient, the President or his designee should notify the recipient of the board’s decision.
    3. Once notification is made, USPA Headquarters will make the decision public.
    4. The Chair of the USPA Membership Services Committee will compose or delegate an author for a suitable article to appear in Parachutist Magazine explaining the merits of the recipient and the reasons for the decision of the board.
    5. Headquarters should consult with the recipient on the time and venue for presentation of the award and it should be presented at an appropriate USPA event where many USPA members are likely to be present.
8-1.1: Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) General Awards

A. Paul Tissandier Diploma

  1. The Tissandier Diploma is awarded to those who have served the cause of aviation in general and sporting aviation in particular, by their work, initiative, devotion, or in other ways.
  2. Each year, the United States may submit the names of up to three candidates.

B. FAI Honorary Group Diploma

  1. As its name implies, the FAI Honorary Group Diploma may be awarded to groups of people (design offices, scientific bodies, aeronautical publications, etc.) that have contributed significantly to the progress of aeronautics or astronautics during the previous year or years.
  2. Each year, an FAI member may submit the names of two candidates, one for aeronautics and one for astronautics.

C. FAI parachuting awards

(FAI parachuting awards are subject to approval by the FAI Parachuting Commission.)

  1. The FAI Gold Parachuting Medal
    1. The FAI Gold Medal may be awarded annually for an outstanding accomplishment in connection with parachuting, in the realm of sport, safety, or an invention.
    2. The medal was created by an endowment fund provided by Mr. J.A. Istel, President of Honour of the FAI Parachuting Commission.
  2. The Leonardo da Vinci Diploma is awarded to a parachutist who has any one of the following:
    1. at least three times consecutively won a national overall championship title
    2. at least once won the world absolute individual parachuting championship and twice the title of combined champion (male or female) at a recognized international parachuting competition
    3. served twice as chief judge at a recognized international competition and at least once at a recognized world parachuting championships or served at least three times consecutively as an international judge at a recognized world parachuting championships
    4. established at least three world parachuting records
    5. served at least twice as meet director at a recognized international parachuting competition and at least once at a recognized world parachuting championship
    6. been nominated as honorary president of the International Parachuting Committee (IPC)
    7. served for at least ten consecutive years, including the current year, as a national delegate to the IPC
  3. The Faust Vrancic Medal is awarded for technical innovation or achievement in parachuting.
8-1.2: National Aeronautic Association (NAA)Service Awards

A. Frank G. Brewer Trophy

The NAA Brewer Trophy, awarded annually, is given to an individual, group or organization for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education in the United States.

B. Elder Statesman of Aviation

  1. The NAA Elder Statesman Award honors outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made contributions of significant value to aeronautics and have reflected credit upon America and themselves
  2. A nominee must
    1. be a citizen of the U.S who has for at least 15 years been actively identified with aeronautics
    2. be at least 60 years of age
    3. be well and favorably known as a person of ability and character
8-1.3: USPA Service Awards

A. USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

  1. Introduction
    1. Perhaps the most respected honor which is offered by the United States Parachute Association is the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award, which was originally conceived and created in 1970, as a result of an initial gift of $3,000 from an “Anonymous Donor.”
    2. The sum was eventually enlarged to a total of $30,000 over a period of years and the funds were placed on deposit with the National Aeronautic Association, which agreed to administer them on behalf of the United States Parachute Association, for the purpose of underwriting the cost of a variety of perpetual competition trophies, as well as the Achievement Award.
    3. The fund ceased to exist in 1982 when the final money available was used to construct the floor-to ceiling display cases at USPA’s Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
    4. The agreement signed on May 13, 1970, between Attorney John Kerr Wilson, acting for the “Anonymous Donor;” General Brooke E. Allen, Executive Director of the National Aeronautic Association, acting for the National Aeronautic Association; and Dr. Edward A. Fitch, president of the United States Parachute Association, acting for USPA, stipulates (among other things) that at any time on or after May 13, 1975, the “Anonymous Donor” may identify himself and direct that any and all awards created through his gift carry his name. To date the “Anonymous Donor” has not seen fit to exercise this privilege.
  2. Qualifications for the award: The May 13, 1970, agreement, as accepted by USPA, describes the award itself and the qualifications required of recipients, using this language:
    “To provide a bowl or other suitable trophy to be known initially as ‘The United States Parachute Association Achievement Award’ [renamed ‘USPA Lifetime Achievement Award’ in July, 2004], which shall be perpetual and will be awarded annually to an expert active or retired sport parachute jumper in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship, skill, or personal contribution to the sport of parachuting and the United States Parachute Association, its goals and purposes. The recipient of such award will be selected by the board of directors by a majority vote during a closed regular or special meeting. In the event a majority of the board of directors cannot agree upon a recipient of such award on account of a lack of preeminence of the sport parachutist in any one year, the award will be made at least once each two years. Such trophy will be kept permanently in an appropriate location to be determined by the board of directors.”
  3. Description of trophy
    1. The trophy itself is a sterling silver bowl, 15 inches in diameter, seated on an octagonal teakwood base which bears carved wooden replicas of the USPA emblem on four faces and sterling silver plates listing the names and qualifications of recipients of the award on the other four faces.
    2. Traditionally, each year the recipient receives a smaller, eight-inch diameter replica sterling-silver bowl as his or her personal possession.
  4. Other considerations
    1. Traditionally the award is made for the year prior to the year in which it is presented.
    2. While the deed of gift requires that the award be given only to an individual, in 1974, the presentation was made to the United States Army Parachute Team, which suggests that the language in the deed is usable more as a guideline than as a strict requirement.
    3. The Membership Services Committee and the board has usually regarded the statement, “In recognition of personal contribution to the United States Parachute Association, its goals and purposes” as an overriding requirement (i.e., achievements in sport parachuting unrelated to the United States Parachute Association would normally not be considered sufficient to qualify a recipient, lacking specific contributions to USPA).
    4. While the deed of gift states that the award must be made at least once every two years, neither in 1991 nor in 1992 was a recipient named, thereby again suggesting that this particular language serves more as a guideline than as a requirement.
    5. No current member of the USPA Board of Directors may be recommended for the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award during his or her term as a member of the board.
      1. In practice, this requirement has been extended to forbid a nomination for at least two full years after the end of board service.
      2. It is enlarged to include as ineligible current or former USPA employees, also until at least two years after their employment ends.

B. USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

  1. Background
    1. The USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service was established on July 13, 1997, by the USPA Board of Directors.
    2. The award given to no more than three recipients per year, in the form of a struck brass medal which measures three inches in diameter, weighs approximately five ounces and is slotted at the top for attachment of a 30-inch gold fabric ribbon.
    3. For permanent display at USPA Headquarters is a large wooden plaque measuring two feet by four feet and adorned with an exact replica of the medal along with brass metal strips bearing the name and date of each recipient.
  2. Criteria for the award
    1. The USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service is to honor outstanding USPA members who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made significant contributions to the skydiving community.
    2. Each recipient must be or have been a USPA member and been active in sport parachuting for at least 20 years in the areas of, but not limited to judging, instruction, jumpmastering, camera (film and video), competition, and safety.
    3. No current member of the USPA Board of Directors may be considered for the award and no past member of the board of directors of USPA may be considered for the award until at least two years after retiring from the board.
    4. No current employee of USPA may be considered for the award and no past employee of USPA may be considered for the award until at least two years after leaving USPA employment.

C. USPA Regional Achievement Award

  1. Background
    1. Many outstanding individuals have contributed to the sport more on a local or regional level. To recognize the contribution of these individuals, the Board of Directors has created this award.
    2. The award is presented to no more than five recipients per year total, in the form of a certificate.
  2. Criteria for the award
    1. The USPA Regional Achievement Award is to honor an outstanding member of a USPA region who, by their efforts over a period of time or one outstanding act, has made a significant contribution to that region’s skydiving community.
    2. No current member of the USPA Board of Directors may be considered for the award and no past member of the Board of Directors of USPA may be considered for the award until they have been off the board for at least two years.
    3. No current employee of USPA may be considered for the award and no past employee of USPA may be considered for the award until at least two years after leaving USPA employment.

D. USPA Chesley H. Judy Safety Award

  1. Background
    1. A fund was established at USPA in 1997 to honor the memory of Ches Judy, former USPA Director of Safety and Training, killed in a skydiving plane crash two years earlier.
    2. Distribution of the fund was in abeyance pending the development of a suitable safety-related program.
  2. Purpose of the award
    1. In 2004, USPA developed a safety award to honor members who had promoted safety in our sport.
    2. The USPA Board determined that the new award was consistent with the original intent of the Ches Judy Safety Fund, so therefore designated the new award as the USPA Chesley H. Judy Safety Award.
  3. USPA Headquarters developed the certificate, which is available at no charge to each drop zone to honor the local USPA member who is most deserving of the award.
  4. The award is to be presented on USPA Safety Day in conjunction with the other planned activities for the annual event.
  5. Criteria for the award: The selection for the award recipient should be based on the previous year’s actions or accomplishments of any current USPA member who, through example, deed, training, or innovation, had promoted safe skydiving in a substantive way.
  6. Selection and administrative procedures
    1. The USPA Safety & Training Advisor in consultation with the drop zone owner selects one individual from the drop zone to which the award is appointed based on the above criteria.
    2. By February 15th, the S&TA requests a certificate from headquarters, either in writing (attention: Safety & Training), or by email to
    3. The request should include the correctly spelled name of the recipient and the name of the drop zone.
    4. USPA will provide the completed certificate to the requesting S&TA for presentation during that year’s Safety Day activities.


8-1.4: Recipients of the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

Note: In absent years, no award was presented.

Jim Crouch D-16979   Awarded 2022

For his steadfast dedication to safety as a multi-rated instructor and examiner, jump pilot, rigger, drop zone owner and Parachutist author, and for his service to USPA members as Director of Safety and Training from 2000-2018, a time that saw a drastic reduction in skydiver fatalities and injuries due in large part to his many efforts.

Marylou Laughlin D-12418   Awarded 2021

For unsurpassed selfless contribution to the sport of skydiving and the United States Parachute Association as a leader, competitor, judge and U.S. representative within the international skydiving community.

Raymond Ferrell D-5748   Awarded 2019

For more than 40 years of advancing the skydiving industry in myriad ways, including jumper and pilot training, rigging and aviation innovation, world records, competition, business and service to USPA, all while maintaining the highest standards and principles.

Patricia Thomas   Awarded 2018

For nearly three decades of advancing the sport of skydiving by sponsoring U.S. competitors and teams, being a leader in the harness-and-container industry and masterfully organizing the Parachute Industry Association Symposium.

Alvin Schlichtemeier D-16256   Awarded 2016

In recognition of his unwavering dedication to USPA’s financial well-being, his wise counsel as a career-long USPA board member and his contribution to the competition community as a national and international judge.

BJ Worth D-3805   Awarded 2015

For truly dedicated leadership over more than three decades, serving as USPA National Director, Chairman of the Board and IPC delegate; for promoting the sport through world records and demonstration jumps in front of millions.

Larry Bagley D-4522   Awarded 2013

For selfless dedication and commitment to the core values of the United States Parachute Association and the skydiving community as advocate, leader and wise counsel for nearly half a century.

King Morton D-2954   Awarded 2012

For improving the sport, enhancing collegiate skydiving and raising the stature of USPA as a competitor, jumpmaster and instructor and by serving 20 years on the USPA Board as Southern Conference Director.

Paul Sitter D-2714   Awarded 2011

For nearly three decades of service to the U.S. Parachute Association and its members, particularily in the area of safety and training by helping to educate and improve safety for skydivers everywhere.

Christopher Needels D-1765   Awarded 2010

For almost a half-century of total commitment to USPA as a board member, officer, executive director, and skydiving museum trustee, providing unparalleled leadership, vision and lasting stability.

Jacques Istel D-2   Awarded 2007

In recognition of his pioneering spirit as he promoted skydiving in America, United States Parachute Teams, and collegiate parachuting competition while serving the United States Parachute Association and its predecessors.

Gene Thacker D-167   Awarded 2004

For over 40 years of contributions to USPA and the sport of skydiving, particularly in the Style & Accuracy community as an athlete, coach, leader, inspiration, volunteer, conscience and catalyst.

Allen Krueger D-3663   Awarded 2003

For almost 40 years of dedication to the sport and especially USPA as a board member, U.S. Nationals meet director, world skydiving champion, and inspirational visionary.

Sherry Schrimsher D-7916   Awarded 2002

For their selfless dedication to USPA’s competition and instructional programs and as leaders of the community while serving on USPA’s board of directors.

Jerry Schrimsher D-1090   Awarded 2002

(posthumously) For their selfless dedication to USPA’s competition and instructional programs and as leaders of the community while serving on USPA’s board of directors.

Patrick Moorehead D-2962   Awarded 1998

For unselfish dedication to the United States Parachute Association since 1969 as an ambassador extraordinaire while traveling the world as a member of the board of directors and as a professional skydiving performer.

Clinton Vincent D-7624   Awarded 1997

Selfless service for the betterment of all aspects of skydiving and in support of all skydivers.

Richard G Barber C-2375   Awarded 1995

C-2375, For dedicated service to all competitors as a judge at countless U.S. Nationals and world championships, and for the inspiration provided to judges.

William Ottley D-298   Awarded 1994

D-298, In recognition of more than three decades of dedicated service to skydiving and USPA, as board member, vice president and executive director.

Loy Brydon D-12   Awarded 1993

D-12, In recognition of major contributions to parachuting in the development of equipment, freefall techniques and competition—an original role model of the total skydiver.

Ken Coleman D-12630   Awarded 1990

(posthumously) World and national champion who created the accelerated freefall program.

John Hamilton D-514   Awarded 1989

For service to USPA and the skydiving world 1967-1979, a Collegiate League director, Safety and Training Committee chairman, and USPA president.

Carl Boenish D-2556   Awarded 1987

(posthumously) A prolific and talented skydiver whose lifetime of pioneering freefall photography brought unforgettable images and better understanding to fellow jumpers and the public.

Jack Bergman D-357   Awarded 1986

(posthumously) USPA Director 1967-1984, Treasurer 1967-1984, National Championships Meet Director 1975-1984. With selfless devotion he gave a quarter century to skydiving and USPA

Charles MacCrone D-526   Awarded 1984

In recognition of outstanding contributions to sport parachuting and as a testament to his unparalleled service as president, FAI-IPC.

James Curtis D-1407   Awarded 1983

A total contributor to our sport and USPA: competitive champion, headquarters executive, drop zone owner, safety officer, director, board chairman.

Norman Heaton D-565   Awarded 1981

In eleven years of devoted service as executive director, he contributed substantially and uniquely to USPA’s greatest growth.

Dan Poynter D-454   Awarded 1980

Prolific author, distinguished instructor, preeminent parachutist, whose service to skydiving spans more than 20 active years.

Len Potts D-220   Awarded 1978

In recognition of personal sacrifice and countless contributions to skydiving and this organization spanning our decades as a sport. His past is our present.

Russell Gunby C-350   Awarded 1977

A founding spirit who saw the future when others doubted. As author, executive director, and P.C.A. president, he gave countless hours to build the early framework of our sport.

Lowell Bachman D-700   Awarded 1975

For service to the United States Parachute Association and all competitors as judge and chief judge at countless national championships, and as a dedicated leader in the development of judging excellence.

Steven Snyder D-5   Awarded 1973

D-5, For pioneering contributions through the years to the saving of lives and the improvement of parachute equipment.

Lewis Sanborn D-1   Awarded 1972

D-1, For originating safe and reliable parachute equipment, for pioneering work in freefall photography, and for many other contributions to the sport and USPA.

Joe Crane C-1   Awarded 1971

(posthumously) For unselfish and dedicated service as founder, president, and chairman of the board of the National Parachute Jumpers and Riggers and its successor, the Parachute Club of America.


8-1.5: Recipients of the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

JaNette Lefkowitz C-35536   Awarded 2022

For raising the level of skydiving worldwide as a top-class competitor, prolific coach, developer of educational materials and organizer of high-profile events, and for working tirelessly to create a strong community for both men and women in the sport.

Daniel Brodsky-Chenfeld D-8424   Awarded 2022

For inspiring fellow skydivers and the general public as a multi-time world and national champion competitor, record organizer, mentor, DZ manager, educator, motivational speaker and author, and for generously sharing his time, advocating for safety and being one of the foremost ambassadors of the sport for more than 40 years.

Cheryl Stearns D-4020   Awarded 2022

For advancing the image of skydiving across the globe as the first female member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights; her unparalleled skill as a three-time world military women’s style and accuracy champion, two-time civilian world champion and multiple world record holder; and for her professionalism and boundless enthusiasm as an exhibition jumper during her 40-plus years of skydiving and more than 21,000 jumps.

Bram Clement D-14597   Awarded 2021

For establishing and operating Skydive Ratings, a full-time instructional rating school that offers friendly, structured, professional courses for all USPA ratings and has qualified thousands of highly proficient instructors.

Joannie Murphy C-9720   Awarded 2021

For 50 years dedicated to skydiving, in which she set records, pioneered safety standards, preserved the sport's history and, above all, kept skydiving available to the world in Zephyrhills, Florida.

Morris Viletto D-5853   Awarded 2021

For 50 years of rigging innovation, stunt work, technical sewing and mentorship of riggers and jumpers, and for being the architect and pioneer of equipment and techniques for the advancement of the sport through a passionate approach toward improvement, precision and safety.

Yong Chisholm D-21693   Awarded 2020

For being a pioneering female skydiver, instructional rating holder and competitor and for having a standout career marked by selflessness, caring, humility, enormous skill and a commitment to excellence.

Kurt Gaebel D-18635   Awarded 2020

For connecting and inspiring formation skydivers in the U.S. and worldwide by hosting competitions, providing news coverage and promoting the sport through the National Skydiving League for 20-plus years.

Bryan Burke D-8866   Awarded 2019

For three decades of helping improve the safety of the sport by analyzing and sharing accident data and developing procedures for landing and airspace safety; and for serving as meet director for countless national and international competitions.

Kirk Knight D-6709   Awarded 2019

For over 40 years of dedication to skydiving, both military and civilian, as an international judge, competitor and role model, and for his immense contributions to the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame.

Thomas Jenkins D-7707   Awarded 2019

For 39 years of dedicated service to skydiving as an instructor, competitor, judge, organizer, mentor and motivator; and for showing a steadfast commitment to skydivers around the world by developing safe practices and leading by example. -posthumously-

Greg Windmiller D-20004   Awarded 2018

For representing true sportsmanship in the U.S. and international skydiving communities as a U.S. Army Golden Knight, multiple national champion, world record holder and U.S. Team leader and for promoting safety as an instructor and canopy piloting coach.

Michael Horan D-881   Awarded 2018

For his instrumental role in preserving the history of skydiving and USPA by serving as the organization’s archivist, assembling more than a century of the sport’s history and sharing the information freely with USPA and the skydiving community.

Robert Stumm D-3604   Awarded 2018

For helping grow the sport by instructing and mentoring countless students, dedicating themselves to running a club drop zone, fostering a culture of safety both at their home DZ and beyond and being pillars in the Wisconsin skydiving community for decades. (jointly awarded with Mary Bauer)

Mary Bauer D-8123   Awarded 2018

For helping grow the sport by instructing and mentoring countless students, dedicating themselves to running a club drop zone, fostering a culture of safety both at their home DZ and beyond and being pillars in the Wisconsin skydiving community for decades. (jointly awarded with Bob Stumm)

Chuck Karcher D-9603   Awarded 2017

For his instrumental role in testing and developing the tandem skydiving system, as well as sport parachute designs; for his groundbreaking work in freefall photography and videography; and for helping to pioneer sit-flying.

Ben Crowell D-15715   Awarded 2017

For developing tandem equipment modifications to enable people with disabilities to experience tandem skydiving and for extensively sharing his expertise to both civilian and military rigging and parachuting.

Mark Baur D-6108   Awarded 2017

For his contributions and innovations in parachute rigging and equipment, and for many years of teaching and mentoring riggers and skydiving instructors to improve the skill levels of all involved.

Robert Laidlaw D-32405   Awarded 2016

Robert Laidlaw, D-32405, owner of Skydiving University, Inc. in Deland, FL, for more than forty years of advancing training methods producing professional, highly skilled skydiving coaches and instructors, and for sharing that knowledge with USPA for our student and instructional rating programs.

Bill Jones D-924   Awarded 2016

Bill Jones, D-924, for owning numerous drop zones around the world to promote and devote his efforts to implement innovating skydiving training and equipment safety for military and civilian students.

Kate Cooper-Jensen D-7333   Awarded 2015

For advancing big-way formation skydiving throughout the U.S. and abroad as an organizer and multiple world-record holder. Over the decades, Kate has mentored countless skydivers and been a role model to women skydivers around the world.

Alicia Moorehead D-9821   Awarded 2015

For volunteering for 28 years for the Parachutists Over Phorty Society, serving as USA TopPOP #9, World TopPOP #2 and POPS records administrator: for spreading goodwill around the globe and encouraging others to skydive in their later years.

Carolyn The Queen Clay D-3347   Awarded 2015

For more than 45 years of skydiving and inspiring jumpers around the world as a competitor, record holder and organizer: for mentoring new skydivers and serving as a role model to women entering the sport.

Roger Ponce de Leon D-5104   Awarded 2014

For forty-six years, Roger “Ponce” has advanced skydiving as a leader and participant on numerous large formation world records, and promoted skydiving as a coach and load organizer throughout the world.

Pat Works D-1813   Awarded 2013

For over 50-years of contribution as a teacher, innovator, author, competitor - and for encouraging and inspiring countless skydivers to advance their skills and find joy in the blue sky.

Perry Stevens D-51   Awarded 2012

D-51, is recognized for Meritorious Achievement for his reserve-static-line invention, which has saved many skydivers with quick, reliable openings.

William Wood D-9085   Awarded 2011

For acting as a true worldwide ambassador of skydiving as both a demonstration jumper and leader of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society, and for earning an international reputation as a traveling good-vibes skydiver.

Jeffrey Steinkamp A-3451   Awarded 2011

For nearly four decades of service to the competition community as a nationally rated judge and to the accuracy community in particular as an innovator of accuracy events and scoring systems.

Mike Lewis D-2071   Awarded 2007

For being one of CRW’s original pioneers. Mike Lewis has been an integral part of every aspect of the discipline’s development including safety, equipment, training, competition and organizing the 100-way world record.

Judy Celaya   Awarded 2007

For almost three decades of dedicated contributions to the worldwide skydiving community as a national and international competition judge, judge course director, and ambassador of the sport.

Chris Gay D-11504   Awarded 2007

For innovations that have redefined the discipline of canopy formation. Chris Gay made the USA the dominant force in international competitions, improved safety and was instrumental in the 100-way world record organization.

Michael Truffer D-3863   Awarded 2006

For service to the USPA membership as national director and for his vision and guidance in establishing the U.S. Parachute Team Trust Fund, which has and will continue to support those teams for many years.

James Wallace D-3497   Awarded 2006

In recognition of almost 40 years dedicated to the skydiving community, and especially USPA, with boundless energy and enthusiasm as an instructor, demonstration jumper, U.S. Team member, and movie stuntman.

Norman Kent D-8369   Awarded 2006

For nearly 30 years of contributions to skydiving and the USPA. Norman’s work has put the highest artistic touch on images of our sport that have been seen by millions.

Thomas Sanders D-6503   Awarded 2005

For over a quarter of a century of promoting skydiving in general and USPA in particular as a professional aerial photographer, contributing often to the USPA calendar and Parachutist magazine.

Michael McGowan D-5709   Awarded 2004

For promoting our sport through professional aerial photography as a freefall cameraman, and for his innovation in developing freefall photography techniques.

Fredrick Wenger D-3774   Awarded 2003

For over thirty years of leadership and support of the skydiving competition community as a board member, judge, team coach, and national and world champion.

Thomas Morrison D-2273   Awarded 2003

In recognition of more than 40 years as an ambassador for the sport of skydiving worldwide and for serving as an inspiration to skydivers of all ages.

Ted Strong D-16   Awarded 2002

For almost a half-century of contribution to the skydiving community as a competitor, a sponsor of numerous US parachute teams, and, most notably, his unique innovation in parachute equipment design including the tandem skydiving system and its importance to the growth of the sport in general and USPA in particular.

Bill Booth D-3546   Awarded 2002

For over three decades of quality parachute equipment design and manufacture, especially his personal contribution to the concept and promotion of the tandem skydiving system.

David DeWolf D-1046   Awarded 2001

In recognition of your decades of service to the sport as a rigging school operator, seminar host and mentor.

Sandra Williams D-5829   Awarded 2000

For your unparalleled encouragement to women’s participation in skydiving and helping set the benchmark for achievement in our sport.

Jimmy Godwin D-126   Awarded 1999

For outstanding and meritorious service to the skydiving community and for sharing his knowledge for over three decades as a Drop Zone owner, rigger examiner, pilot, instructor, and Conference Director.

Jerry Bird D-3299   Awarded 1999

For outstanding and meritorious service to the skydiving community for over thirty years, inspiring jumpers into becoming competitors and for unselfish training and organizing in the field of relative work.


8-2: Achievement Awards

A. Achievement awards for jump experience

  1. These two types of freefall awards are intended to provide a special kind of recognition to those United States Parachute Association members who have accumulated significant levels of experience in both number of freefall skydives and amount of freefall time.
  2. USPA proudly recognizes those members.

B. Cumulative jumps and freefall time

  1. Expert Wings are awarded for freefall jumps in 1,000-jump increments.
  2. Freefall Badges are awarded for freefall time in 12-hour increments.

C. General requirements

  1. To be eligible for any of these awards a person must:
    1. have completed the required number of freefall skydives or accumulated the required amount of freefall time
    2. have made each jump being presented as qualification in compliance with the USPA BSRs
    3. be a current USPA member at the time of application for the award
    4. be the holder of a current USPA C license or its accepted foreign equivalent
    5. have no record of a BSR violation on file with USPA
    6. have met the requirements of the previous award
  2. Logging:
    1. The applicant must present logbook evidence of the required number of freefall skydives or amount of freefall time for which the award is being made.
    2. For jumps made after December 31, 1987, each jump must be listed as a separate entry and contain at least:
      1. the jump number
      2. date
      3. location
      4. exit altitude
      5. freefall length
      6. type of jump (formation skydiving, accuracy, jumpmaster, photography, etc.)
      7. signatures of witnessing jumpers or pilots (encouraged but not required)
  3. Verification of the required number of freefall skydives or freefall time and other requirements will be made by:
    1. a USPA Regional or National Director
    2. a USPA administrative officer
    3. in case of hardship or extraordinary conditions, other persons deemed acceptable to USPA Headquarters or the USPA Board of Directors
  4. The verifying official will submit to USPA Headquarters a completed application verifying that the applicant has met all requirements.
  5. Upon receipt of the completed application, USPA Headquarters will issue the award as directed by the verifying official.
  6. All awards will be issued by USPA Headquarters in the order the qualified application is received.
  7. In the case of special circumstances or hardships, waiver of these requirements and procedures may be applied for through the USPA Board of Directors.

D. Presentation

  1. Because of the particular significance of the milestone represented by the award of Expert Wings and Freefall Badges, it is in the best interest of the United States Parachute Association and the sport of skydiving that these awards be presented to the recipient with appropriate ceremony and recognition.
  2. Except when not practical, these awards should be presented by a USPA National or Regional Director, to whom the award will normally be entrusted before presentation.
  3. It is also recommended and urged that all recipients of Expert Wings and Badges be publicized as widely as possible through skydiving publications and local news media.
  4. Whenever possible, a brief report and photograph of the presentation should be emailed to or mailed to:
    5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd.
    Fredericksburg, VA 22407


8-3: Performance awards

A. Awards for skydiving skill

The performance awards program is an international awards program of the United States Parachute Association.

  1. Canopy formation performance awards
    1. These awards recognize each applicant’s progression towards higher levels of canopy control, maneuverability, and proficiency.
    2. In receiving and exhibiting these awards, the recipient agrees to exercise good judgement and wisdom in promoting safe canopy relative work among his or her peers, among those less experienced than himself or herself, and toward observers of the sport.

B. Prerequisites

  1. Each applicant must be either a current USPA member or a member of another FAI Aero Club.
  2. Jumps used to qualify for these awards are to comply with the USPA Basic Safety Requirements.

C. Canopy award categories

  1. The 4-Stack Award is available for building a canopy formation of four or more canopies.
  2. The CCR (Canopy Crest Recipient) or 8-Stack Award is available for building a canopy formation of eight or more canopies.
  3. The CCS (Canopy Crest Solo) Award is available for entering eighth or later in a complete eight-canopy or larger formation.
  4. Night versions of each of these awards are available for those who have completed these formations at night.

D. Qualifications

  1. The formations completed for this award may come from the USPA Skydiver’s Competition Manual or may be other recognizable formations.
  2. All formations must be planned in advance.
  3. All participants must be in position and on grips for the formation to be considered complete.
  4. The completed formation must be held for a minimum of ten seconds.

E. Application

Send the completed application to:
USPA Headquarters
5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd.
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
or fax to (540) 604-9741 and include:

  1. the applicant’s name as it is to appear on official certificates
  2. the location of the jump: city, state, country (if not USA)
  3. diagram or name of each completed formation
  4. a list of the other participants (signatures not required)
  5. the date of the jump that qualified the applicant for the award
  6. the holding time for the formation
  7. the award applied for
  8. the appropriate fee for the award and any additional materials requested, such as decals, pins, or additional certificates


8-4: Membership Tenure Certificates

A. Tenure awards

  1. Membership tenure certificates are issued to acknowledge support of skydiving through membership in USPA for significant periods of time.
  2. USPA membership tenure certificates are issued at the completion of ten years of accumulated membership and at each five years thereafter.

B. Qualifications

  1. Computation of tenure:
    1. The ten-year certificate is issued when a full ten years of membership has been accumulated.
    2. In other words, the certificate is issued at the end of the tenth year of membership.
    3. Lapses in membership are subtracted from the total time of membership.
  2. Certificates are issued upon request either by submitting the information online through the USPA website, or by contacting the membership department at USPA Headquarters.