Who We ARE
The Air Defense Artillery Association was founded in 1975 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Air Defense Artillery had become a separate branch of the Army in 1968. By 1975 it was clear that there was a need for an association that had as its mission the support of the Air Defense Artillery soldiers, their family, and their units. In addition, the branch heritage that dated back to the artillery, coast artillery and the anti-aircraft artillery units that had defended America since 1775 needed to be preserved.
The year 1975, the 200th birthday of the Army and the Artillery, was seen as the right time to organize this association. The association would be built on the foundations of the Artillery Association and the Coast Artillery Association. At that time, Fort Bliss was the home of the branch and the location of the ADA school. The branch was also establishing the Air Defense Artillery Museum at Ft Bliss; therefore, one of the first missions the ADA Association assumed was that of providing both financial and volunteer support for that museum.
By 1989, the association had a strong membership and was supporting ADA soldiers and units worldwide. The association made it possible for soldiers to be awarded the Order of Saint Barbara, and their spouses the Molly Pitcher Medal. A branch chapter had been established at Huntsville, AL, home of Redstone Arsenal. The gift shop was supporting the ADA Museum and sending branch pride items all over the world. The association also supported the efforts made by MG Donald Infante to establish the branch motto “First to Fire”; and create the Air Defense Artillery March. The association commissioned a painting showing Anti-Aircraft Artillerymen being the first to fire in World War II. Then, as the First Gulf War began, the association developed the “SCUD Buster” t-shirt. It showed the whole world the pride we had in the ability of our branch to allow America to fight a modern war without losses being incurred from enemy tactical ballistic missiles. Those shirts were so popular the association could not keep them in stock, especially when the Vice President of the United States was pictured in a national weekly news magazine running wearing a “SCUD Buster” t-shirt. Much of the money made from the sale of those shirts was used to send gifts to our deployed ADA soldiers.
In 2009, the ADA branch and the association moved to Ft. Sill, OK. However, our mission remains the same and every day we do our best to support our ADA soldiers, families, units and their history.