ATCA Military Air Traffic Controller of the Year Award: Formerly the Lingiam Odems Memorial Award

Lingiam “Linn” Odems was born on April 15, 1931, in Jackson, Mississippi, and died on July 29, 2001. In 1951, he began his military career in the United States Army where he attained the rank of sergeant major, the highest enlisted rank in the Army. During his 23 years exemplary of military service, Linn received numerous medals and commendations for valor and excellence. Among these were the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. 

Having served his country in two wars (Korea, Vietnam) and peacetime, Linn retired from active military service on April 30, 1974. He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. He continued his ATC career working as a civilian for the United States Aeronautical Services Office. In his capacity of Air Traffic Control Specialist, Linn served as the Army’s liaison to the Federal Aviation Administration until retiring from civilian service in the summer of 1996. 

Linn became an ATCA member in 1974 and during his 27-year membership was an aviation ambassador, actively promoting and encouraging the advancement of aviation and air traffic control of the kind and quality required by the civil and military aviation sectors. 

While representing ATCA, he provided outstanding leadership as the chairman of FAA’s highly regarded Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee. He also served with distinction on ATCA’s Awards Committee, Education Committee, Air Traffic Control Committee, and Scholarship Committee. He was awarded the ATCA Clifford Burton Special Medallion Award in May 1996 for his contribution to the quality, safety and efficiency of air traffic control and especially for his time and effort in furthering the goals and objectives of ATCA and the profession. 

The Lingiam Odems Medallion Award is named for Linn in recognition of his outstanding lifetime support of military and civilian air traffic control.

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