The Jolly Green Association (JGA), a non-profit U.S. Air Force veterans’ organization, was established in 1969. The term “Jolly Green Giant” was the nickname of the HH-3E Sikorsky helicopter, and its successor the HH-53 “Super Jolly Green Giant,” flown to rescue downed airmen in Southeast Asia. The Jolly Green membership met for 50 years at their reunion and business meeting at the beautiful Island Beachside Resort (formerly the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort) in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The JGA consists of Air Force veterans, retirees and active duty members from throughout the USAF combat search and rescue (CSAR) and special operations forces (SOF) community. Members must currently be flying or have flown as a crew member (officer or enlisted) in a Jolly Green unit or a helicopter unit with a primary or secondary mission of rescue.
The Jolly Green Association awards a number of academic scholarships annually to dependents of members of the CSAR/SOF community.
In addition, an annual Jolly Green Association “Mission of the Year” award is presented to the aircrew(s) that performed the most significant mission of the year.