JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Retired Lt. Col. James “Robbie” Robinson Jr., deputy chief of the requirements and resources division at Air Education and Training Command, has been selected to be inducted into the San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame.
Robinson was selected for the honor due to his aviation history and his contributions to aviation through Air Education and Training Command for more than 50 years. He served as a pilot in Vietnam, and flew over 200 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom. He then became a pilot training instructor for the T-38 Talon, where he accrued over 3000 flying hours. As the deputy chief at A3R, he is the principal analyst that works on the resource programming and planning for all the undergraduate pilot training.
“To receive this honor is surprising, unexpected and humbling,” said Robinson. “I’ve tried to be useful in the contributions that I’ve made, and I guess my overall body of work for the Air Force and Air Education and Training Command was seen as deserving some recognition. I just enjoy doing my job and I try to provide the best support that I can for the leadership in this institution that I love.”
Robinson has seen many people come and go and has had several different commanders, general officers, and senior leaders that he has had the opportunity to work with in various stages of their career. He takes pride in the acquaintances and working relationships he has made over the years, and finds fulfillment when they remember and value the job that he did when they were associated with him.
“[Robbie] is a standout officer, aviator, combat warrior and flying training pioneer,” said retired Brig. Gen. John Cherrey, former director of intelligence, operations and nuclear integration at AETC. “Robbie’s aviation career began as a decorated United States Air Force combat pilot and culminated as the foremost authority on rated management development, the bedrock upon which the United States Air Force is built. He is a phenomenal pilot and is known Air Force-wide as a brilliant analyst with an unmatched record of excellence throughout his service to our great nation.”
To Robinson it’s not a job, it’s a career.
“I’ve enjoyed doing what I’m doing,” said Robinson. “It’s been fun to get up every morning and come to work, to associate with the people that I’m around and think about the [flying] training business and how it can become better. I loved being an instructor pilot then, and I love being on the opposite end of that now – the part that puts together and produces the sorties that our students fly to become pilots.”
Robinson aims to continue his work until he can’t anymore, but hopes that those who follow him will carry the values and interest of the mission into the future.
“I’ve always loved this mission and the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of it,” said Robinson. “My influence is less direct since I deal with the programs, planning and analytics for [pilot] training. I’ve had people come out of a chat with me with a better understanding of our business, though. Working here has been rewarding, and I get personal satisfaction out of it. Why would I want to do anything else?”
The San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame is an initiative of the Dee Howard Foundation that was formed to honor San Antonio’s aviation and aerospace history and to nurture future generations of innovators. The hall of fame has been in place since the founding in 2015 and the first inaugural dinner held in 2016.
Robinson will be inducted into the San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame at the awards dinner March 22 at the GDC Technics Hangar at Port San Antonio. He will be joining ranks with other honorees before him, such as Brig. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois, Capt. Carl J. Crane and Col. William C. Ocker, all foundational military aviators for the San Antonio area.
For more information about the San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame and upcoming events, click here