(Founders of AAAA)
Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1975 Induction
(Inducted to represent the 1950-1959 period)
Arthur and Dorothy Kesten were two of the few who, in the early 50's, foresaw the continuing need for a professional-technical association that would enhance the general knowledge, public image, and personal well being of those in this field.
Pooling their talents as editor and business manager, this husband and wife team founded a magazine in 1953 for Kesten's fellow reservists and Active Army contemporaries in First Army. Fulfilling a need, their magazine grew rapidly in acceptance at a point when Army Aviation was relatively unknown to the general public, and almost totally ignored by other news media.
As founder of the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) in early 1957, and later as its first Executive Vice President, Kesten drafted the initial By-Laws, secured the necessary DA approvals, and then recruited the members of AAAA's initial National Board as well as its first 140 Regional and Chapter officers, enlisting their participation in the new organization.
Through their personal contacts with hundreds of members and through their direct communications, the Kestens aided in the rapid transition of a 4,000 subscriber magazine into a viable, multi-program national association. Originating Army flight pay insurance, the Kestens also developed many of AAAA's initial National and Chapter programs, and accepted prime responsibility for the direction and administration of AAAA's first successful national conventions.
Their constant enthusiasm and dedication and selfless contributions to Army Aviation not only gave Army Aviators and crewmen a source of information, but a forum from which they could be heard. No two persons have devoted more time, effort, and innovative thought to Army Aviation as an entity, or to its members as individuals.