By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (May 31, 2006) -- Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley was knighted during a ceremony at the British Embassy here May 30.
The honorary knighthood, at the suggestion of Queen Elizabeth II, stems from the general's contributions to United States-United Kingdom relations while he served as commander of the air war over Afghanistan and Iraq at the onset of the war on terrorism.
General Moseley learned he would receive the award in January. He said he was both honored and surprised that the United Kingdom has chosen him for the recognition.
"It is, of course, a great honor to be recognized in this way," he said. "It's really a tribute to the outstanding cooperation between our two great countries and, of course, a tribute to the historic and continuing relationship between the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force. I am humbled to represent our wonderful Airmen and I am honored to be considered for this recognition."
The general will be given the honorary title "Knight Commander of the British Empire," and will be a member of the Order of the British Empire. Other Americans with honorary knighthoods include: retired Army Gen. and President Dwight D. Eisenhower; President Ronald Reagan; retired Gen. James H. Doolittle; retired Gen. Carl Spaatz; retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft; retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks and retired Army Gen. and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
King George V created the Order of the British Empire in 1917, during World War I. The only criterion for being included in the order is valuable service to the British Empire. There are more than 100,000 living members of the order throughout the world. Every four years, members may attend a service at the order's chapel in the Crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.