2023 Chattanooga Armed Forces Day Parade

Left, General Duke Z. Richardson, USAF. Right, Bo Cline, Parade Grand Marshal

Lt. Col. Bill Brooks, USA [Ret], Chairman of the Chattanooga Armed Forces Day Parade Committee, announced today that General Duke Z. Richardson, USAF, will serve as the Chief Military Reviewing Officer and will address the Armed Forces Day Luncheon, both on Friday, May 5, 2023.

General Richardson serves as Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for installation and mission support, discovery and development, test and evaluation, life cycle management services, and sustainment of virtually every Air Force weapon system. The command employs 89,000 people and manages $72 billion of budget authority annually.

General Richardson enlisted in the Air Force in 1983 as an avionics technician, later received his commission via Officer Training School, rising through the ranks to his current position as General, USAF.

Bo Cline, US Army Air Corps, World War II, Former POW, Parade Grand Marshall

Cline earned the rank of 2nd lieutenant while he as a bombardier navigator in the 391st bomb group 574 squad, 9th Air Force, USA. During the battle of the Budge, Cline۪’s plane was shot down during a bombing mission intended to hit the German village of Ahrweiler. When he made it to the ground, he was captured by German soldiers and spent the next 8 months in a German POW camp until the camp was freed by the Soviet Army.

As a POW he was put in a barrack – a shed, really – with 23 other prisoners. They ate small daily portions of bread, cut to the millimeter to ensure equal portions, and then they toasted the crust to make a delicacy they called “kriegy nuts” – from “krieg,” the German word for war.

After being liberated by advancing Russian troops, Cline returned to the United States, went to college with the help of the GI Bill, and eventually settled in Chattanooga, where he spent 30 years working for the former Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., now Unum, before retiring in his early 60s. Mr. Cline and his wife are dedicated members of their church and Cline is an active member of MOAA and other veteran groups.