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The first two NORAD Chief Santa Trackers, starting when the NORAD Tracks Program went on the World Wide Web in December 1997 thru the 2004 NORAD Tracks Santa season, came from the Canadian Forces. They were:

  • The “Founding NORAD Chief Santa Tracker” Major (currently Lieutenant-Colonel(Retired)) Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces.
  • The second “NORAD Chief Santa Tracker” Major (currently Lieutenant-Colonel) Douglas "Doug" Martin, Canadian Forces.

Another Chief Santa Tracker of “Renown” based on her years of service (2004 - 2008 in total, and 2006 – 2008 as NORAD’s “Chief Santa Tracker”) to the NORAD Tracks Santa program and impact in enabling the NORAD Tracks Santa program to transition to Web 2.0 is:


Lt.Col.(Rtd) Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces (1997 – 2000)

MAJ Robertson - Edit

Major Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs and Founding Chief Santa Tracker at NORAD.

In July 1997, then Major Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces, arrived at NORAD as the new Deputy for Public Affairs, following highly successful Canadian Forces public affairs assignments such as: 1) Qatar during the first Gulf War, 2) the 1991 UN's World Food Programme (WFP) humanitarian food relief effort to Ethiopia. This effort started with three (3) Canadian Air Force Hercules transports delivering food aid from Djibouti’s airport to all over Ethiopia. These transports had to land on bombed-out runways, because no airfields were left untouched by the recently ended Ethiopian civil war, [1] 3) editor from 1993 thru 1994 of Sentinel, the magazine of the Canadian Forces. During his successful editorship, he earned two national awards for writing as well as for layout and design, and 4) service in the Canadian named “Operation HARMONY” in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994 thru 1995. One of his many key responsibilities was the NORAD Tracks Santa program, which while very popular, had by 1997 become rather “staid” as a primarily telephone-based operation with some newspaper, radio, and television spots, in an era with widespread deployment of the World Wide Web underway.

Major Robertson had been active on the internet and the World Wide Web since 1993 and had used both as a key part of his successful prior public affairs assignments. He immediately saw an opportunity for NORAD, which embodied the use of “leading edge” and “state of the art” technology, to take the Santa Tracking program to the next level of the World Wide Web. With only a few months remaining before the 1997 Christmas holiday season, the search for suitable partner to take NORAD and Santa Tracking to the World Wide Web was on.

Fortunately, Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) had the unique capability in 1997 to work with animated space imagery. Major Robertson saw one of their products, the Satellite Tool Kit (STK), and spoke to them about the NORAD Tracks Santa program and the need to upgrade the NORAD Tracks Santa program to the World Wide Web. They volunteered to work in partnership with NORAD, at no cost to the American and Canadian taxpayers, to:

1. Create video sequences of Santa over known geographic landmarks, and
2. Host the website on theirservers for the first year in 1997.

So from the very outset in 1997, AGI was NORAD’s key partner in the internet-based and World Wide Web-based aspects of the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Another key feature of the expanded NORAD Tracks Santa program established in 1997, is the use of volunteer partners and sponsor-donated services to enable global accessibility of the Santa Tracking tradition.[2] [3]

Major Robertson then went out to meet with AGI in Pennsylvania to firm up plans. AGI would build the actual website, host it, and create the all important video imagery. The basic layout and content of the NORAD Tracks Santa website of text, scenarios, and some images, would be produced by Major Robertson as the “Founding Chief Santa Tracker” of NORAD on the World Wide Web. Those key design layouts and most of the content have endured and are still in use by the NORAD Tracks Santa program more than a decade later. The video sequences were provided to the media around the world and used extensively on 24 December 1997.

2000-12 - NTS - MAJ Robertson

Major Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs and Founding Chief Santa Tracker on the right at the NORAD Control Center in NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Headquarters. [4]

The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations center, which until the 2006 NORAD Tracks Santa tracking season was located at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, would still be the “heart of” the NORAD Tracks Santa Program, with a diversity of volunteers every Christams Eve answering the telephone, which is still the core of the original Santa Tracking tradition. That is, real people giving “real” updates to children and the young-at-heart world-wide. The rest of the year, the original NORAD Tracks Santa Operations center served as a training building for the 721st Security Forces Squadron at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.

When Major Robertson introduced the NORAD Tracks Santa program to the internet and the World Wide Web in December 1997, the large amount of web traffic quickly informed the NORAD Tracks Santa program that the children, their parents, and the young-at heart world-wide had a huge desire for realtime information on Santa's Christmas Eve activities. Therefore, the hunt was on for a NORAD Track Santa Program partner with server capacity and communications infrastructure able to handle heavy Christmas holiday web traffic. Fortunately, Major Robertson realized that IBM had recently completed its Winter Olympic Games commitments (and would end its Summer Olympic Games commitment after the year 2000 Sydney hosted Olympic Games) and was seeking other venues to showcase their “state of the art” web server and communication infrastructure capabilities. [5] After Major Robertson visited IBM’s world headquarters in New York and explained the NORAD Tracks Santa program’s needs for a robust web server and communications infrastructure, IBM agreed to partner with NORAD and Analytical Graphics, Inc. for the 1998 and 1999 NORAD Tracks Santa seasons. As a result, IBM's hosting services successfully supported the traffic load for the 1998 and 1999 NORAD Tracks Santa seasons, using the same system that IBM had successfully used for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, with the capacity to accommodate more than 70 million website hits a day and peak loads of 700,000 website hits per minute. [6] Additionally, America Online (AOL) (with around 15 million users in 1998 and 1999) and several other large Internet service providers carried the NORAD Tracks Santa program website on their internal servers, separate from the NORAD Tracks Santa program main website. With this additional Internet traffic, the NORAD Tracks Santa program website was the world’s most popular website on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the 1998 and 1999 NORAD Tracks Santa seasons. [7]

MAJ Robertson - Naturally Santas - Colorado Springs - CO

Major Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs and Founding Chief Santa Tracker at NORAD with the Santas of Naturally Santa, Inc. of Colorado Springs, CO outside of NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Headquarters.

During 1998, the NORAD Tracks Santa Program received recognition and appreciation from many, to include Naturally Santa, Inc. of Colorado Springs, CO.

Major Robertson, also realized that the NORAD Tracks Santa program had a global reach, and was on the hunt for an organization to translate the NORAD Tracks Santa website creative content and Santa Tracking videos into multiple languages. Fortunately, Ms. Fadia Gnoske, owner of Globelink Languages and Cultural Services in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado was already teaching Canadian Forces members at NORAD headquarters French in order to improve their bilingual language skills. As soon as Major Robertson explained to Ms. Gnoske his vision of a multi-lingual NORAD Tracks Santa website, she agreed to provide a dozen volunteer translators. The result was that starting with the 1998 NORAD Tracks Santa season, the NORAD Tracks Santa website went multi-lingual with English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.[8] [9] Major Robertson researched Santa Claus and equivalents in the other languages and national cultures to ensure that NORAD Tracks Santa website content and scenarios were culturally compatible and acceptable across languages and cultures. For the 1999 NORAD Tracking Santa season Brazilian Portuguese would join the other languages at the NORAD Tracks Santa website, because of expressed NORAD Tracks Santa fan interest and the translation capability was available from Globelink Languages and Cultural Services. [10]

With the 1999 NORAD Tracks Santa season, a multitude of web search engines "discovered" the NORAD Tracks Santa website, [11] resulting in a huge increase in the amount of web traffic that exceeded the commitment that IBM was will willing to continue to make to the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Particularly, as IBM geared up to complete its final Summer Olympic Games commitment at the year 2000 Sydney hosted Olympic Games. [5]

So once more, Major Robertson was on the hunt for a leading edge internet services company of the Web 1.0 era of dial-up Internet access. Fortunately, America Online (AOL) was already carrying NORAD Tracks Santa website on their internal servers, separate from the NORAD Tracks Santa program main website. After Major Robertson visited America Online’s (AOL’s) world headquarters and explained the NORAD Tracks Santa program’s needs for a robust web server and communications infrastructure, they agreed to partner with NORAD, Analytical Graphics, Inc., and Globelink Languages and Cultural Services, starting with the year 2000 NORAD Tracks Santa season.[12]

NTS – PRSA - Bronze Anvil Certificate – 1999

The 1999 Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Certificate of Commendation for the NORAD Tracks Santa Claus program having the best website in 1998.

In 1999, thanks to Major Robertson’s enthusiastic and inspired leadership, the NORAD Tracks Santa website and program received more than 45 international Internet awards for website excellence. In addition to several American awards, such as the USA Today Hotsite award, ABC News.Com Site of the Week, and the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Certificate of Commendation in 1999 for best website, awards were received from Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Japan. The worldwide recognition included the Medaille d’Or Award from France and the Web Academy Award from Britain -- two of the Internet’s most highly prized awards. [7]

Also in 1999, thanks to Major Robertson’s partnering efforts, NORAD enlisted the help of Astronaut Sally Ride and Space.com to assist with analysis of NORAD's Santa tracking data. [10] Astronaut Sally Ride was the prototype of the later early 21st Century “Honorary Santa Trackers” or the ”Ur-Honorary Santa Tracker.”

During Major Robertson’s tenure as NORAD’s “Chief Santa Tracker”, the huge amount of effort which went into all aspects of the Santa tracking program was only possible because of numerous volunteers and generous support from organizations such as Analytical Graphics, Inc., IBM, America Online (AOL), Globelink International Services, and many local Colorado Springs, Colorado radio stations. Major Robertson personally visited the U.S.-based headquarters of both IBM and America Online (AOL) in order to facilitate their “partnering” with and their enthusiastic voluntary support for the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Of all the many thousands of e-mails and telephone calls that Major Robertson and his staff of enthusiastic volunteers received during his trenure at NORAD, the one which sticks out most is this simplest: "Dear NORAD, thank you for giving my Son another year of Christmas magic and the belief in Santa Claus."

Major Robertson wrote all of the content for the NORAD Tracks Santa website for the 1997 through the 2000 NORAD Tracks Santa season. He also wrote much of the content for the 2001 NORAD Tracks season website, before his transfer and the arrival of then Major Douglas “Doug” Martin, Canadian Forces in 2001. Major Robertson also wrote the scripts for each of the Santa Cam hourly location updates. In summary, all creative control rested with Major Robertson in order to ensure continuity of all aspects of the NORAD Tracks Santa program and wesbite.

Major Robertson had many meetings with Colonel(Rtd) Harry Shoup, “the Original Santa Tracker” at the U.S. Continental Aerospace Defense Command (CONAD) on Christmas Eve of 1955, and his wife. Colonel Shoup’s eyes always lit up when talking about tracking Santa. The direct link to the Christmas Eve events of 1955 was very important to Major Robertson. The fact the Santa Tracking program started by virtue of a newspaper ad misprint added a certain purity to the Santa Tracking tradition. By any measure, the Santa Tracking tradition is iconic and has become a family tradition for many across North America. Major Robertson personally spoke to grandparents who had listened to NORAD radio updates as children themselves.

December 24, 1998 BBC News Story - NORAD Tracks Santa on the Internet - Origination of the NORAD Tracks Santa program in 1955 - Story by then Major Jamie Robertson of NORAD. [13] Link to full size video

The news media pick up in 1997 of the NORAD Tracks Santa program story was immense and grew exponentially during Major Robertson’s tenure as the “Founding Chief Santa Tracker” to every corner of the globe, particularly, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Canada, and the United States. The Discovery Channel and Fuji TV from Japan did documentaries on NORAD’s Santa Tracking efforts and interviewed Major Robertson at NORAD’s then Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station headquarters. Almost all major television networks from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom featured NORAD Tracks Santa footage and news stories. Major Robertson personally conducted more than 1,500 interviews over the four (4) years that he was the “Founding Chief Santa Tracker.” The news media played it straight every time. Suffice to say, there were a few smiles here and there. Nobody messed with Santa, not even shock jocks who called Major Robertson live during the Christmas holiday season. Many news organizations the world over gained an appreciation for NORAD’s 24/7 missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America by virtue of Major Robertson’s and his staff’s explanation of how NORAD could track Santa Claus !!

Major Robertson and his NORAD public affairs staff had many, many touching stories come their way each Christmas. One story stands out to Major Robertson. A Mother told Major Robertson about her adopted son Craig who was not supposed to survive his infancy due to cancer. Happily, he loved Santa and enjoyed following his journey on the NORAD Tracks Santa program website. Craig lived in Texas. The NORAD public affairs staff obtained his address and they sent him some mementoes from NORAD. The Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NORAD at the time, in 1999, was Lieutenant-General George C. MacDonald, Canadian Forces. Unbeknownst to Major Robertson, Lt.Gen. MacDonald took a long detour on a trip to Texas to put some gold chocolate coins in the family’s mailbox along with a personal note. Major Robertson only found out about it because the Mother said she “got the coins and Craig was really excited.” That gesture Major Roberton’s believes captured the spirit of what the NORAD Tracks Santa program does each Christmas, take the spirit of Christmas and adding some additional magic to it. Major Robertson saw an amazing spirit of volunteerism and willingness to go above and beyond when he was NORAD's “Founding NORAD Chief Santa Tracker.”

The NORAD Tracks Santa program was not a one person effort. Several military members and civilians at NORAD played key roles in the NORAD Tracks Santa program during Major Robertson's tenure as NORAD's “Founding NORAD Chief Santa Tracker.” Key contributors to the NORAD Tracks Santa program during Major Robertson's tenure included:

  • Major Mike Birmingham
  • Major Perry Nouis
  • Master Sergeant Larry Lincoln
  • Technical Sergeant Kathy Gandara

After his transfer from NORAD in 2001, he spent six (6) months at the US. Central Command’s Coalition Coordination Center (or “Coalition Village”) [14] [15] at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida with the Canadian Joint Task Force, Southwest Asia as senior Public Affairs Advisor to the Commander for all operations in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. He was the only non-American Public Affairs officer amongst the 30 or so nations represented at the US. Central Command’s Coalition Coordination Center and was called upon to provide public affairs advice to the other national contingents. The Canadian national contingent was also the first national contingent to conduct media interviews in Tampa, Florida with the U.S media and other media, even before even before headquarters, US. Central Command itself did so.

The assignment at the US. Central Command’s Coalition Coordination Center was followed by being in charge of the Canadian Forces Pacific and Yukon Region - Public Affairs office in Vancouver, British Columbia until June 2003, handling outreach and other public affairs issues. Major Jamie Robertson was then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, based on his outstanding success as “Founding NORAD Chief Santa Tracker” at NORAD and in other assignments.

Canada Troops – Boots on the Ground - Afghanistan

Canadian Troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan- “Boots on the Ground”

Lieutenant Colonel Robertson was then posted to the Embassy of Canada in the United States, Washington, DC as Counselor for Military-Media Relations from July 2003 to July 2006. While assigned to the Embassy of Canada in the United States, Washington, DC, Lieutenant Colonel Robertson, conceived the concept for and set-up on May 24, 2004 the CanadianAlly website and electronic newsletter under the auspices of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. The purpose of CanadianAlly was to provide American citizens with a better understanding of Canada’s role in North American Defense and Global Security issues. He also developed and executed a supporting marketing program on the Washington Metro system with focus on the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and five other Metro stations during the 2005 National Cherry Blossom Festival. Each Metro station had huge banners or posters with a picture of Canadian troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan with the words: "Boots on the Ground in Afghanistan." As a result of this successful marketing campaign, Americans “Inside the Beltway” realized that that Canadian troops were at the” tip of the spear” in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In July 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Robertson turned over the highly successful the CanadianAlly website and electronic newsletter to the incoming Public Affairs Attaché, Embassy of Canada in the United States, Washington, DC, Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces. [16]

After some additional follow-on assignments in the Canadian Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Robertson retired from the Canadian Forces in 2009 with 20 years service. Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Jamie Robertson, Canadian Forces, is currently the Director, Registry Operations for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.


Lt.Col. Douglas “Doug” Martin, Canadian Forces (2001 – 2004)

2001 CBC News Story - NORAD Tracks Santa of December 24, 2001, featuring NORAD's Chief Santa Tracker then Major Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces [17] Link to full size video

In July 2001, "exactly nine weeks before September 11th," [16] Major Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces arrived at NORAD to replace then Major Jamie Robertson as NORAD’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs. On September 11, 2001, Major Martin witnessing the attacks from inside Cheyenne Mountain. [16] Major Douglas Martin was the NORAD Chief Santa Tracker from 2001 thru the 2004 NORAD Tracks Santa seasons. Even with the challenges NORAD faced in the last half of 2001, such as overseeing Operation Noble Eagle, thanks to the leadership of NORAD’s Chief Santa Tracker, the 2001 NORAD Tracking Santa season was an outstanding success.

Major Douglas Martin, Chief, Santa Tracking Operations, NORAD interviewed by Joyce Gramza for the 50th tracking season of NORAD Tracks Santa in December 2004. [18] Link to full size video

In December 2004, for the 50th tracking season of NORAD Tracks Santa, Joyce Gramza of ScienCentral interviewed then Major Douglas Martin Chief of Santa Tracking Operations at NORAD. According to Major Martin, in describing Santa Claus, "The man is in the air, he's got nine reindeer, he's got this massive sleigh full of toys, he's got incredible speeds and he's going at an unusual pattern around the world." Major Martin further mentioned that “Santa has come to rely on NORAD to help parents get their children to bed, otherwise Santa has to backtrack to homes where the kids were still awake on his first pass. "Children get very excited on Christmas Eve, and naturally even when mom and dad say, 'Hey, c'mon kids, it's time to go to bed, Santa 's on his way,' sometimes they're just too excited," according to Major Martin. He then mentioned that "It's very important [that] someone from NORAD's able to say to the kids…'It's true, he's on his way, he's in this particular state right now, he's in this particular province or this particular country, and my gosh, it's going to be so soon, he's going to be here, right at your own city or town or home, you want to get to bed as soon as possible.'" Finally, Major Martin mentioned that while his belief in Santa Claus had wavered through the years, that since July 2001 he was definitely on board, "I went through a lot of phases and then all of a sudden I'm in my 40s, and my gosh, I'm the chief of Santa tracking operations, I actually track Santa," he said. "And I don't track him alone, I track him with this enormous group of people…we know he's real. Why ? Because we see him." [19]

AaronCarter4b

Honorary Santa Tracker for 2002 Aaron Carter and Santa Claus being briefed on the NORAD Tracks Santa program in October 2002 by Major Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs and Chief Santa Tracker.

Major Martin’s tenure as NORAD Chief Santa Tracker saw many successes such as: 1) the appointment of Aaron Carter for the 2002 NORAD Tracks Santa season [20] , 2) first use of a toll-free "1-800" type telephone number for children and the young at heart across the United States of America and Canada to call the NORAD Santa Tracking hotline without incurring long distance charges [21], 3) The two-year appointment of Ringo Starr, the former Beatle star as primary honorary Santa Tracker for the 2003 and 2004 NORAD Tracking Santa seasons [22], and 4) Lining up in the numerous celebrities who made video and audio appearances during the 2004 fiftieth (50th) tracking season of NORAD's annual tracking of Santa Claus. [23]

After his tour at NORAD, he was then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, based on his outstanding success as Chief Santa Tracker at NORAD. Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces is currently the Canadian Forces Public Affairs Attaché, Embassy of Canada in the United States, Washington, DC. As part of his duties, Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Martin is the webmaster of CanadianAlly, an electronic newsletter and website maintained by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC. CanadianAlly’s mission is to provide American citizens a better understanding of Canada’s role in North American Defense and Global Security issues. [24] [16]


Major(Rtd) Stacia "Stacy" Reddish, United States Air Force (2006 – 2008)

July 25, 2010 Broadcast of a July 16, 2010 Interview with Major Stacia Reddish on the 2007 NORAD Tracks Santa Program. [25] Link to full size video

Major Stacia Reddish became involved in the NORAD Tracks Santa program in 2004, while working as an Air Force Reservist at NORAD Public Affairs in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At first, her involvement was ensuring the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center (a call center) on the 24th and 25th of December, was up and running with volunteers on Christmas Eve.

Major Douglas Martin, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs, was in charge of managing the NORAD Tracks Santa website, and Major Reddish was responsible for the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations center. Major Reddish was also responsible for the "Volunteer Santa Tracker Training Rally" that took place at the Peterson Air Force Base auditorium. This was a great event attended by Goose Gossage in Colorado Springs, Colorado as well as by Colonel(Retired) Harry Shoup, his daughter Teri and a son who was in the Navy. They had Mrs. Claus (played by Lieutenant Colonel Stellgwagen) and the NORAD Commander, General Ralph Eberhart, all involved in the "training" of volunteers, and celebrating the occasion.

2005 Around the Air Force News Story - NORAD Tracking Santa - December 2005, featuring the NORAD Tracks Santa co-director, Master Sergeant Tomassi by TSgt Joy Josephson, USAF. Link to full size video

When Major Martin transferred to another assignment after the 2004 NORAD Tracks Santa season, First Lieutenant Jody Vazquez and Master Sergeant Tomassi became co-directors of the NORAD Tracks Santa program for the 2005 NORAD Tracks Santa season. [26]

The following year (2006), due to the death of Major Martin's replacement in Public Affairs, Major Steele, and the departures of Lieutenant Vazquez and Master Sergeant Tomassi, Major Reddish became involved again in the NORAD Tracks Santa program, starting with the 2006 NORAD Tracks Santa season. Major Reddish was now responsible for both the NORAD Tracks Santa website, and the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations center.

By 2006, while the ”static” NORAD Tracks Santa website had been adequate in the Web 1.0 era of slower dial-up Internet access speed, it was no longer sufficiently “interactive” for kids nor “state of the art” in the higher broadband internet access speed era.

In 2007, Major Reddish’s primary goal was to create a highly “interactive” for kids, NORAD Tracks Santa program Web 2.0 website that is “state of the art” in the higher broadband internet access speed era. America Online, by that time facing severe revenue declines and under tremendous profitability pressure, balked at providing the NORAD Tracks Santa Program with an interactive Web 2.0 website and wanted the NORAD Tracks Santa Program to stay at the static Web 1.0 level. The Google and Booz Allen Hamilton alliance was willing to take the NORAD Tracks Santa Program to the Web 2.0 level of interactivity and therefore was accepted by the NORAD Tracks Santa Program and Major Reddish as the new co-sponsoring lead partners. [25]

2007 - NTS Partners

June 19, 2007 Meeting of the NORAD Tracks Santa Partners and Corporate Sponsors at NORAD headquarters located on the Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Juatai

On June 19, 2007, the partners in the NORAD Tracks Santa program came to NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, to begin preparing for the 2007 NORAD Tracks Santa holiday season. NORAD Tracks Santa corporate sponsors donate services ranging from web design and internet servers to animation artwork, language interpretation and Santa's mail service. Attending were, left to right, Technical Sergeant John Lobato (United States Air Force) of NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs; Peter Hope and Sherilyn Whiting of Booz Allen Hamilton; Fadia Gnoske of Globelink Culture Center; Kim Gerber of Booz Allen Hamilton; Cindy Kersey of Official Santa Mail; Melissa Crounse of Google; Air Force Major Stacia Reddish, NORAD Tracks Santa project officer (“Chief Santa Tracker”); Joanne Welsh of Analytical Graphics Inc.; and Diana Kersey of Official Santa Mail.

The legacy of Major Reddish’s tenure as NORAD’s “Chief Santa Tracker” from 2006 thru 2008 included:

1. A highly “interactive” for kids, NORAD Tracks Santa program Web 2.0 website that is “state of the art” in the higher broadband internet access speed era.
2. Starting with the 2007 NORAD Tracking Santa season, the NORAD Tracks Santa program received recognition from the Space Foundation with their "seal of approval" under their Space Certification Program as a Corporate Patron Level Partner in the Certified Imagination Product Category [1] [2], for having increased interest in and excitement for space by children and the young at heart world-wide.[27] [28] [29]
3. Starting with the 2008 NORAD Tracking Santa season Chinese became the seventh language, joining the other six languages of English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. [30] The choice of Chinese as the seventh language, was a result of Google Analytics analysis of the 2007 NORAD Tracks Santa season website traffic reporting that visitors from China spent twice as long on site as the average.[31]
4. The spread of the NORAD Tracks Santa program into other media types, such as YouTube (2007) [32], iTunes (2007) [33] [34], Smartphone (2008) [33], and Twitter (2008). [30] [35]
5. Winning the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 2009 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for the 50th anniversary in 2008 of NORAD’s annual Tracking of Santa Claus (NORAD being the successor in 1958 to the U.S.-only CONAD annual Tracking of Santa Claus effort that started in 1955). The full category title of the PRSA 2009 Silver Anvil Award is “2009 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence Winner – Event and Observances – Seven or Fewer Days – Government” and the award title is “NORAD Tracks Santa: Keeping the Dream Alive.[36]
2011 - Reddish Family

Senator Michael Bennet meeting with the Reddish family on October 12, 2011 at the Capitol. Photo by Allison Sherry. [37]

Following Major Reddish’s tenure as NORAD’s “Chief Santa Tracker” and her retirement from the Air Force, she continued to work in the Colorado Springs Area, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado and at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in various capacities. In October 2011 Major(Retired) Reddish and family were winners on HGTV’s “House Hunters on Vacation” show and won a 10-day trip to Washington, D.C., where they toured the Capitol, the White House and monuments. [37]


NORAD Tracks Santa Video and Audio Clips featuring NORAD’s Chief Santa Trackers of Renown


NORAD Tracks Santa Video and Audio Clips featuring NORAD’s Chief Santa Trackers of Renown
Videos Link Clip
July 25, 2010 Broadcast of a July 16, 2010 Interview with Major Stacia Reddish on the 2007 NORAD Tracks Santa Program [25] [3]
December 21, 2006 Podcast Interview with Aviation Weekly on the Web (AVWeb) with Major Stacia Reddish on the NORAD Tracks Santa Program [38] [4]
2005 Around the Air Force News Story - NORAD Tracking Santa - December 2005, featuring the NORAD Tracks Santa co-director, Master Sergeant Tomassi by TSgt Joy Josephson, USAF [5]
2004 ScienCentral News Story - Major Douglas Martin, Chief, Santa Tracking Operations, NORAD interviewed by Joyce Gramza for the 50th tracking season of NORAD Tracks Santa in December 2004. [18] [6]
2001 CBC News Story - NORAD Tracks Santa of December 24, 2001, featuring NORAD's Chief Santa Tracker then Major Douglas Martin, Canadian Forces [17] [7]
1998 BBC News Story - NORAD Tracks Santa on the Internet on December 24, 1998 - Origination of the NORAD Tracks Santa program in 1955 - Story by then Major Jamie Robertson of NORAD (Audio) [13] [8]


References

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  2. "Santa Trackers.Org, Dec 2000 by John B. Dendy, Airman Magazine - US Air Force" (in en). US Air Force. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBP/is_12_44/ai_68507673/. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  3. "Santa Trackers.Org, page 2, Dec 2000 by John B. Dendy, Airman Magazine - US Air Force" (in en). US Air Force. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IBP/is_12_44/ai_68507673/pg_2/. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. "Tracking Santa I, December 24, 2000 by Joyce Gramza" (in en). ScienCentral. http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218391391. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "IBM readies last Olympic splash, July 10, 2000 by Tobi Elkin" (in en). Advertising Age. http://adage.com/article?article_id=57610. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  6. "NORAD readies the Net for Santa, Dec 22, 1998 by Alan Boyle, ZDNet News" (in en). ZDNET. http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-101241.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  7. "High-tech NORAD web site offers inside scoop on Santa, Dec 14, 1998" (in en). US Air Force News Service. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/usa/1998/n19981214_981933.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  8. "NORAD begins Mission Santa, Nov 25, 2004, by Andrea Brown of The Gazette (Colorado Springs)" (in en). Globelink. http://www.globelinkflc.com/english/news/newsitems/ml.php. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  9. 10.0 10.1 "NORAD Continues Santa Tracking Tradition, Dec 14, 1999 by Major Jaime Robertson, Canadian Forces, Deputy Director of NORAD Public Affairs" (in en). NORAD. http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43009. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  10. "NORAD Tracks Santa - A Quick Web History, Dec 2002 by NORAD Tracks Santa" (in en). NORAD. http://web.archive.org/web/20021126090215/www.noradsanta.org/english/radar/history.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  11. "NORAD readies for Santa surveillance, Dec 20, 2000 by Master Sgt. Larry Lincoln, NORAD Public Affairs" (in en). NORAD. http://seclists.org/isn/2000/Dec/121. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  12. 13.0 13.1 "Sci/Tech: Satellites track Santa, Dec 24, 1998 by Sue Nelson" (in en). BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/241481.stm. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  13. "NZ in Coalition Coordination Center: MacDill's new 'village' helps coordinate globe, 27 October 2001" (in en). New Zealand Converge On-Line Community. http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/cra0015.htm. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
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  15. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "LCol Douglas Martin, CD, Canadian Forces Public Affairs Attaché" (in en). Government of Canada. http://www.canadianally.com/ca/bio_martin-eng.asp. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
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