By definition, Arnold Air Society is a professional, honorary, service organization advocating the support of aerospace power, professional because of its mission to further develop future Air Force officers, honorary because of the high standards for membership, and service-oriented because of the contributions and assistance provided to the community, the campus, and officer commissioning programs. It is recognized on a national level, available to Air Force ROTC and Academy cadets.
The origins of this organization comes from a group of cadets at the University of Cincinnati discussing an honorary society for cadets, which was named "Arnold Society of Air Cadets", in recognition of General Henry H. Arnold, who is perhaps best known for being Commanding General of the Army Air Force during WWII from March 1942, and the first five-star General of the United States Air Force on 07 May 1949.
The United States Air Force officially recognized the Society in April 1948, and national conclaves, or nationwide level meetings of AAS squadron cadets, began in the early 1950s, showing the immediate boom in the growth of AAS throughout the nation. Through these national conventions, also abbreviated as NATCONS, the Arnold Air Society has developed and amended its constitution (as well as changed its name to Arnold Air Society), voted on headquarters for the year and the next year's NATCON location, as well as presented awards to outstanding AAS squadrons. It is also noted that AAS is related to several other organizations, notably the Air Force Association, Silver Wings, Civil Air Patrol, Explorer Posts of the Boy Scouts of America, Air Force Junior ROTC, and POW/MIA Awareness, which help offer greater influence to America's aerospace power and national defense.
The Detachment 415 AAS squadron is named the General Lauris Norstad Squadron, in honor of former General Lauris Norstad, who was born in Minneapolis and rose up to Vice Chief of Staff of the United States of the Air Force upon the enactment of the National Security Act, which separated the Air Force from the Army as a separate branch.