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Retired Air Force Dietitians Association Records: Home

Collection Overview

Collection Overview:

Title:

Retired Air Force Dietitians Association Records, 1944-2007

Dates:

1944-2007

Abstract:

The Retired Air Force Dietitians Association Records consist of 14 ft. of manuscript material, ~977 photographs, ~3707 slides, 21 audiocassettes, 42 films/videocassettes, and 30 3 ½ floppy discs. A majority of the records were created by dietitians in the United States Air Force during active duty and were later assembled by the Retired Air Force Dietitians Association. One series includes the records of the Retired Air Force Dietitians Association.

Physical Description:

14 ft. of manuscript material, ~977 photographs, ~3707 slides, 21 audiocassettes, 42 films/videocassettes, and 30 3 ½ floppy discs

Language:

English

Administrative History

Air Force Dietetics

Air Force dietetics officially began in 1949 when 38 army dietitians were transferred to serve the newly created United States Air Force Medical Service Corps. The Air Force Medical Service Corps was divided into six administrative categories: (a) Medical Corps, (b) Dental Corps, (c) Veterinary Corps, (d) Medical Service Corps, (e) Air Force Nurse Corps, and the (f) Women’s Medical Specialists Corps (WMSC). All 38 dietitians were transferred to the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps (WMSC) and were placed under the command of the acting director of the WMSC Maj. Miriam E. Perry. In 1953, dietitians in the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps developed chapters 10 and 11 of the AFM 160-20, later to become AFR 160-86 and 160-87, the first dietary and food service standards for the Air Force. To accommodate the rising demand for dietitians, the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps became the Medical Specialist Corps (MSpC) and began accepting male dietitians in 1955. 

Dietitians remained a part of the Medical Specialist Corps for the next ten years, until it was designated as one of the original 13 sections of the newly created Biomedical Sciences Corps in 1965. During this period, Air Force dietitians held the 1st Conference of Air Force Dietitians (1954), created the 1st diet supervisors training course (1962), advised scientists and astronauts on nutrition as part of the space food program, participated in aeromedical evacuation flights from Vietnam, assisted in the creation of Cooked Therapeutic In-flight Meals (CTIMs), conducted nutrition surveys of returning prisoners of war in Vietnam as part of Operation Homecoming, and created an internship program to recruit and train dietitians in the Air Force (1973). Through the 1980s-1990s, dietitians remained an integral part of the Air Force, assisting in the repatriation of Iranian hostages, participating in Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm, and  voyages of the USNS Mercy.  In 1982, the Medical Food Service changed its formal title to the Nutritional Medicine Service (NMS), and diet therapy specialists were officially listed as a medical specialty within the Air Force.  The Air Force also established several influential committees related to dietetics during the 1990s, such as the Department of Defense Nutrition Committee, the Lewin study, and the Medical Nutrition Therapy working group, all of which studied the relationship between dietetics, nutrition, and healthcare.

Retired Air Force Dietitians Association (RAFDA)

The Retired Air Force Dietitians Association was formally incorporated on October 12, 1987 in San Antonio, TX by retired dietitians of the United States Air Force. The association was created in order to “stimulate love of country and the flag; to foster camaraderie, offering support, and social opportunities for the members; to present the interests of members, through periodic communications; to cherish shared memories and contribute; to the preservation of Air Force dietetic history; to service as a communications link between retired and active duty Air Force dietitians; and to advocate the desirability of a career in Air Force dietetics.” Individuals are eligible to join the association if they are retired dietitians of the Air Force Women’s Specialist Corps, Air Force Specialist Corps, or Air Force Biosciences Corps, or if they are dietitians in the Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps with at least 16 years of active service. The association is composed of members, regional directors, a board of directors, and officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) and has meetings of all its members biennially. The association publishes a newsletter twice a year and has created a film and a book, Fifty Years of Air Force Dietetics, 1949-1999, which recounts the history and accomplishments of dietitians in the United States Air Force.

 

Biennial Meetings

19 October 1988 Atlanta                                    23 October 1989 Kansas City
28 October 1991 Dallas                                      24 October 1993 Anaheim
29 October 1995 Chicago                                   11 October 1997 San Antonio

17 October 1999 Atlanta                                    29 September 2001 San Antonio
24 October 2003 San Antonio                             21 October 2005 St. Louis
29 September 2007 Philadelphia                          17 October 2009 Denver

 

RAFDA Presidents

1987 - 1991
1991- 1999
1999- 2007
2007 - 2014

Col. Shirley Chaska Baird
Lt. Col May O'Hara Awe
Col. Corinne McNamee
Col. Paula Tsufis

RAFDA Membership

August 2008

156 Members

Scope and Content

The Retired Air Force Dietitians Association Records consist of 14 ft. of manuscript material, ~977 photographs, ~3707 slides, 21 audiocassettes, 42 films/videocassettes, and 30 3 ½ floppy discs. A majority of the records were created by dietitians in the United States Air Force during active duty and were assembled by the Retired Air Force Dietitians Association.

The records are organized into seven records series: 1) Air and Space Food Programs (1 ft.) , 2) Vietnam (.8 ft.), 3) Desert Storm (.4 ft.), 4) Iranian Hostages (.1 ft.), 5) Administration and Management (2 ft.), 6) Food (3.5 ft.), 7) Education and Training (3 ft.). The remaining two record groups include the records created by the Retired Air Force Dietitians Association, consisting primarily of association newsletters, meeting programs, and photographs from 1987-2007 (2 ft.), and dietary and military publications separated from the rest of the collection (1.5 ft.).

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