HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Master Sgt. Aaron Jones, the wing historian, has fostered a passion for history since age 10 when he saw the family tree tracing his lineage all the way back to 17th-century Ireland.
This single childhood experience piqued his interest and what he now calls “the curiosity of knowing.”
“In that moment, I really wanted to learn about all these people and how we got here to America,” Jones said. “I’ve been fascinated by history ever since. There are so many things that unfold to shape us, and there is always something behind how we arrived to where we are now.”
In particular, Jones says he loves American history, having read countless books on the subject.
“So many heroic people, both controversial and otherwise, made our country what it is today,” he said. “It just fascinates me.”
Jones said he absolutely loves his role documenting the 419th Fighter Wing’s current mission accomplishments that will one day be history.
“The 419th is an organization with a lot of ‘firsts,’ and I want to make sure these contributions are never forgotten,” he said. “There have been many, many great achievements by 419th people over the years – from the F-105 days, to the F-16, and now with the F-35.”
“Our Airmen and future generations of Airmen need to know how much our people have and will accomplish in making history,” he added.
While serving as historian for the past five years, Jones said he’s spent thousands of hours scouring mission reports, news articles, flight reports, award write-ups, and after-action reports to research, write, and catalog a detailed annual summary.
“Sometimes it’s like putting together a puzzle – one bit of information leads to another until the full story emerges,” Jones said.
He also works to maintain a formal record of the wing’s heritage and lineage, as well as heraldry in the form of official emblems and unit patches.
“My goal is to create enduring products that will keep the 419th story alive, to show who we were and who we are in some small way for future generations,” he added.
Jones has a bachelor’s degree in history from Weber State University and works full time as management analyst for the 524th Electronic Maintenance Squadron here at Hill AFB.