JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – During this time of uncertainty, the dedication of Air Education and Training Command’s instructor corps has never been more certain. Like their dedication, a monument stands unwavering here in the honor of AETC’s instructor corps.
The obelisk, or pillar, monument stands in-front of the AETC headquarters building and was dedicated in July 1971. It is made of red granite and features a polestar, or the North Star, at the top of the monument.
“The obelisk symbolizes a ray of sunshine,” said Gary Boyd, AETC History and Museum Program director. “That ray is pointed up toward the polestar and is guided by the instructor force of Air Training Command.”
Instructors are the backbone of AETC and for centuries have trained new Airmen to adapt to military life. Then commander, of what was Air Training Command, Lt. Gen. George B. Simler pointed out this very mission during his speech at the monument dedication.
“We hope that we can make the nation realize that the Air Force is not just a consumer of manpower,” said Simler. “The Air Force is also a provider of a solid, well-oriented, trained manpower base for the nation’s technical work force as well as defenders of national freedom.”
According to commander of AETC, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, the efforts of the AETC instructor corps provides the Air Force with highly trained, motivated, self-disciplined, and physically fit Airmen with exceptional military bearing. It is because of their dedication to standards that the greatest Air Force in the world is fueled with ready and lethal Airmen.
“No matter the era, including the great power competition of today, the air, and now space, domains have always required highly trained Airmen,” said Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AETC. “Our instructor corps have always been an integral part in that equation to ensure we remain a ready and lethal force.”
According to Boyd, building Airmen of character is no easy task and often requires long, grueling hours, but these unseen tasks do not go unsung and are forever appreciated with a monument dedicated to the AETC instructor corps.
“A plaque on the monument reads ‘knowledge is the polestar,’” said Boyd. “I like to say that knowledge is our true North and without it we are lost. Our instructor cadre continues to steer us in the right direction.”
Visitors are encouraged to see the monument located in front of Bldg. 900 on Main Circle at JBSA-Randolph.