MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, has promoted Bill Shepard to Squadron Leader.
Shepard has been a volunteer and advocate for the organization since 2009, piloting the Squadron’s P-51C Mustang around the country and speaking about the importance of the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. He succeeds current Squadron Leader Brad Lang, who has served in the position for five years.
“We value Brad’s years of excellent leadership and thank him for being an integral player as the organization has built the RISE ABOVE program,” said Stephan Brown, president of the Commemorative Air Force. “The selection of Bill Shepard to take on this important role was a wonderful choice. He has shown great skill and dedication in his years with the CAF Red Tail Squadron and we look forward to his continued success as he implements his own vision for leadership and growth.”
“The experience I’ve garnered in my career, as well as my time as an aviator and volunteer, has equipped me for this new responsibility. But more importantly, I have profound respect for the Tuskegee Airmen. It is my duty to honor these inspirational heroes through our incredible educational outreach initiatives, which Brad Lang has so expertly put in place,” said Shepard. “My goal is to build upon the leadership before me to ensure the CAF Red Tail Squadron remains sustainable, becomes more streamlined and increases its impact on the communities we engage with so people of all ages can be inspired by and benefit from the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen.”
Shepard is the manager of supply chain management for Fortune Minerals, and is also the firm’s manager of community engagement. He holds a degree in Industrial Management and has over 20 years of experience in the automotive and aerospace industries. In addition to his volunteer service with the CAF Red Tail Squadron, he has held leadership positions with the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, Tuskegee Airmen National Museum and the Urban Pilots Network.