The first chapter of Angel Flight (AnF) was founded at the University of Omaha in 1952. Until 1957, Angel Flight was primarily a national idea with many names, uniforms, and activities. However, in April of that year, an important step toward unification was realized at the Eighth Annual Conclave of the Arnold Air Society. At that time, representatives from sixteen groups met in New York City to join their purposes under a National Coordination Headquarters.

In the years that followed,Angel Flight members worked to give the organization a professional, service-oriented image, as well as to support the AFROTC units on each campus. During the 1980′s,the Executive Board of Directors approved a petition to allow the local unit of Angel Flight to use the name “Silver Wings”on the local campus in order to accommodate diversity of membership, changing needs on the local campus, and a difficulty in recruiting members for AnF at some schools. These chapters were chartered by the national Angel Flight as Silver Wings or Silver Wings Society Flights.

At the 1995 National Conclave, the general assembly voted to amend the AnF National Constitution to officially change the name of the national organization to “Angel Flight-Silver Wings (AnF-SW).” This legislation officially changed the organization name on all documents, insignia, and materials published by region and national level headquarters. In order to meet the diverse needs of the local chapters, each chapter was allowed to choose either “Angel Flight-Silver Wings”, “Angel Flight”, or “Silver Wings” for the local chapter name.

The 1996 Executive Board of Directors proposed and the chapters approved a resolution to redefine the mission and objectives of the national organization and further diversify its membership. This legislation moved the organization out of its military support role into that of a collegiate advocacy group. These changes were met with enthusiasm by AAS and on the local campuses, and in 1998, the NATCON Assembly voted to officially change the name of the organization to “Silver Wings.” All chapters chartered following this legislation will be known as Silver Wings and will function as a civilian organization that emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and development of professional skills. To provide continuity of identity on the local campus, existing chapters chartered under the name Angel Flight or Silver Wings may continue to operate under these names (at the discretion of the local unit).