SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Rainy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the unveiling of a bronze bust of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, who was recognized here, Oct. 9, for his contributions to the air mobility community.
“I’m humbled by this honor,” said Fogleman, who joined the ranks of other legendary mobility leaders in the Airlift Tanker Association’s Hall of Fame. “However, these ceremonies are not about the individual. Credit goes to the A/TA for the idea of recognizing people who contribute to the overall mission and through this program keeping our history alive. The tribute also goes to all the great men and women who have made the mobility mission what it is today.”
Rain had caused the first part of the ceremony to be moved indoors where retired Gen. Arthur Lichte, former Air Mobility Command commander, and Gen. Darren W. McDew, current AMC commander, paid tribute to him.
Litche explained how Fogleman could in fact be inducted into a “fighter pilot hall of fame” with his Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Crosses and the many other accolades that are his. Yet, since Fogleman drove through Scott AFB in 1992, “mobility blood has flowed through his veins.”
“He’s the one who put this command on the right path,” said Litche, who also served as the Air Force’s vice chief of staff from 2005-2007. “He brought (AMC) to a whole new level of respect throughout the Air Force, and he did it by doing the things that come naturally to him, such as teaching. He not only set the standard, but also taught them to all of us. He set standards for base appearance and for how we would manage our ops tempo. He demonstrated leadership in all he did for our community, and he deserves to be on this Walk of Fame along with the others who we try to emulate because they worked to make our Air Force better.”
McDew reflected on how Fogleman laid the foundation for the DNA of today’s Air Force in establishing the core values with the very traits that define Fogleman as a leader: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.
“(Those values) are the fabric of our lives,” McDew said. “You should be justifiably proud of the organization you commanded, but even more proud of the Airmen who carry your legacy today.”
Fogleman acknowledged other former hall of fame inductees and commanders who were present at the ceremony that included retired Gen. Tom Ryan who commanded the Military Airlift Command before it was reorganized to AMC, as well as retired Gens. Duane Cassidy, James Baginski, Tony Robertson and Duncan McNabb.
“If you look at the whole list of recipients, you’ll see that most of them spent a lot more time in the tanker/airlift business than I did,” Fogleman said. “Having spent 29 and a half years in the fighter world, Miss Jane and I arrived here to be the commander in chief of U.S. Transportation Command and commander of Air Mobility Command, something I didn’t anticipate at all in my career . . . nor did I fully appreciate until I became part of this tremendous team.
“All my life whenever I needed a tanker, I just looked on my flight card to find out where and when to meet up,” he continued. “I never realized how much went into these missions and the extreme ops tempo that existed within the command.”
Fogleman recalled how former MAC commander Gen. Robert “Dutch” Huyser told him “he would grow to love the mission and the people.” From that day on Fogleman said he was welcomed into the mobility community and quickly worked to advocate the command’s issues and contributions to the Air Force.
Since then and under his leadership, the command accomplished many significant achievements to include the revitalization of the use of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, to assuming a new aeromedical evacuation mission and developing the Defense Department’s process for patient movement.
The weather cleared up just in time for the entire group to walk outdoors for the unveiling of Fogeleman’s bust on the Walk of Fame. Before doing so, Fogleman explained why he chose to be portrayed in the battle dress uniform.
“There are two reasons. First I felt that we, as a headquarters, weren’t focused on what we were doing for the nation. Air Mobility Command in 1992 had more men and women in harm’s way in more places throughout the world than any other command in the Air Force,” he said. “I decided that we were going to drive this point home so our uniform of the day would be BDUs (battle dress uniform) until there were no more men and women in our command in harm’s way. Second, if you know what the birds do to the statues out there, then you’ll understand why I want a cap on. If a bird wants to get to my face, he’s got to work on it. And, working on it is what AMC is all about.”