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Contact: Christine Payton Oct. 23, 2008
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Col. Charles DeBellevueThe University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association will honor Colonel Charles DeBellevue as the Outstanding Alumni during Homecoming Week 2008.

The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that a former student can achieve. It recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the university. To be eligible for his award, one must be a graduate or former student having attended no less than ten years ago. Recipients will participate in a number of Homecoming activities.

DeBellevue earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with a minor in Math from the then University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1968. He went on to receive a Master of Business Administration degree from Chapman College in 1979, and is also a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Armed Forces Staff College and the Air Force and Army War Colleges.

DeBellvue attended undergraduate navigator training at Mather Air Force Base, gradating in 1969. Following upgrade training in the F-4 and a tour with the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron, he was assigned to the 555th Squadron in Thailand. He served as an Instructor Weapon Systems Officer and an air controller. He completed 220 combat missions, 96 of which were over North Vietnam, and is credited with the destruction of six North Vietnamese jet fighters in aerial combat. He was awarded the MacKay Trophy for the most notable aerial achievement in 1972 and is also the recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Armed Forces Award.

In 1973, DeBellevue served as an instructor pilot, Assistant Operations officer, Command Standardization Evaluation officer and the lead Fighter Duty officer for the 43rd Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1980, following Armed Forces Staff College, DeBellvue was assigned to the Air Staff in the Pentagon and served as an action officer. He also served as the Air Staff representative to the European Participating Governments’ Operations Subcommittee.

In 1982, he served as the Assistant Operations officer, Chief of Maintenance Training, Assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance and the Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations for the 335th Squadron. In 1991, he was selected to be Chief of Staff of the Air Force Flight Test Center. Shortly after he was selected to command the 95th Air Base Wing.

Colonel and Mrs. DeBellevue were the 1994 recipients of the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award, given to the top wing commander and spouse in Air Froce Material Command. He is a command pilot with over 3,000 flying hours, 550 of which were in combat.

His military decorations include the Air Force Cross, three Silver Stars, three Legions of Merit, six Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Meritorious Service Medals, 18 Air Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. He retired in February 1998 with 30 years of service.

In 2000, he was employed by Del-Jen, Inc. a provider of base support, logistics, and construction services to the federal government. While the Director of Business Development, he deployed to south Louisiana the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

In nearly four months, he helped to develop and manage an operation that grew to 500 employees, all but 10 of which were local hires, with a fleet of 300 vehicles, which supported the maintenance of approximately 60,000 temporary homes located throughout the state. His efforts helped the people of Louisiana to begin recovering from the hurricanes.

Charles DeBellevue is currently a consultant in base operations support and aircrft maintenance operations at Del-Jen, Inc. He is married to Sally Kanik. They have two daughters, a son and two granddaughters.

About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:19 AM

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