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Walter & Sylvia Goldenrath Award

June 28, 2019

Walter & Sylvia Goldenrath Award

Established in memory of CAPT Walter L. Goldenrath, MSC, USN(Ret.), this award is presented for the most significant contribution in the field of aerospace physiology. It was created at the bequest of CAPT Goldenrath and is funded by the Walter and Sylvia Goldenrath Endowed Fund.

Thomas Massa (center), accepts the Goldenrath award from AsMA President Vermeiren (right) and Dr. Kim Broadwell, AsMA Foundation Chair (left), representing the Goldenrath Endowed Fund.
   Lt. Col. omas V. Massa received the 2019 Walter and Sylvia Goldenrath Award for his unparalleled lifetime contributions to aerospace medicine and aerospace physiology. During his 32-year career, his actions as an operational physiologist, researcher, safety investigator and commander directly impacted Department of Defense operations and policy. He was one the first AF enlisted members to conduct human physiological research on Hyperbaric Medicine breathing equipment. He is credited with testing and developing a Modified Hyperbaric Mask Assembly which was implemented Air Force-wide for operational and clinical treatment. As an operational physiologist, he has demonstrated superior insight and exceptional leadership. His expertise makes him the "go-to" authority for all physiological and Grelated incidents.
   Lt. Col. Massa is currently the Aerospace & Operational Physiology (AOP) Program Manager, Office of the Command Surgeon General, Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA. He advises the Commander of ACC and the Surgeon General on human factors/performance optimization, physiology, and safety for 402K personnel. He directs the highly visible ACC AOP program, providing guidance, leadership, and mentorship for 12 bases for over 215 personnel. He oversees CSAF AOP policy for the F-22, F-35, and U-2 aircra and works directly with HQ ACC/A3T staff on F-35/F-22 physiological event issues, spatial disorientation, and back-up oxygen system training devices as well as requirements and curriculum development. He is a voting member of the AOP Corporate Advisory Board, developing the Air Force-wide AOP strategic plan and policies. Prior to his current assignment, he was a student and graduate of the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL.
   Lt. Col. Massa entered the Air Force in October 1986 as an enlisted Aerospace Physiology Technician. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts & Science degree from Texas State University in 1996 and was commissioned as a Biomedical Service Corps Aerospace Physiologist in April 1997. He has been assigned to numerous operational and staff positions, including deployments to operation Southern Watch and recently served as the Squadron Commander for the 375th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Scott AFB, IL. He currently is the President of the Aerospace Physiology Society, a constituent of the Aerospace Medical Association.
   Lt. Col. Massa’s honors include AMSUS-the Society of Federal Health Professionals Operational Medicine Award, Air Force Aerospace Physiologist of the Year, the Paul Bert Physiological Research and Wiley Post Operational Physiology Awards from the Aerospace Physiology Society, the Air Force Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, and the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He is a member of AsMA, AMSUS-Society of Federal Health Professionals, the Aerospace Physiology Society, the Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine Society, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the Military Officers Association of America.