With Dick Stephenson's exeperience as a combat helicopter pilot and his background in research, development, test and engineering process and knowledge of the Army planning, programming and budgeting systems, General Stephenson and the branch chief of Aviation developed the first Army aviation Modernization Plan. This comprehensive effort led to organizational design improvements and improved working relationships among the many agencies involved in Army aviation. It also led to a 10 year plan of $45 billion, establishing clear priorities and resources for the Big Five aviation systems - Apache, Black Hawk, Chinook, Kiowa Warrior and Comanche.
While commanding the Aviation Systems Command, he reinvigorated the Army Aviation Safety Program with the branch chief, the Safety Center commander and the Department of Army staff .This led to less than two major aircraft accidents per 100,000 flight hours. The best aviation safety record in the Department of Defense.
Stephenson's outstanding contributions to Army aviation and aviation logistics had a very positive impact in the overwhelming success of Army Aviation in one of its finest hours - Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
During both active service and retirement he has been a leader in Quad A as chapter president twice, chairman of the Awards Board, president of the Scholarship Foundation, secretary, treasurer, senior vice president and president of the National Executive Board.