Retired United States Air Force Brigadier General Dick Abel served as FCA President from 1988-92. During his FCA leadership, he developed the CHAD Principle based on Camps, Huddles, Adult Chapters and Development — a precursor to the Four Cs (Campus, Camps, Community and Coaches) of FCA ministry. He advocated an increase in leadership and coaches camps, and developed the inner-city outreach and ministry to female athletes. Under Abel’s leadership, computerization of camp registration and FCA merchandise was initiated.
Abel’s connection to FCA dates back to his days as an assistant football coach at the United States Air Force Academy in the 1960s, when he accepted Christ at an FCA retreat. He served as one of the adult Huddle Leaders at the Academy before assignments in Vietnam and Hawaii. Abel initiated FCA Huddles during his tour in Hawaii, while his wife, Ann started the first Huddle for girls at a local high school. An assignment to the Pentagon in 1978 led him to establish FCA at nearby Annandale High School where he then joined FCA’s Virginia state board and later the national board.
During his 30-year career in the Air Force he served as a jet pilot, led the Warhawk acrobatic team and served three 4-star admirals as well as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1985, he joined the senior staff of the U.S. Olympic Committee and was named FCA’s President three years later.