By Staff Sgt. Chip Pons, Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
/ Published November 09, 2017
Staff Sgt. Isaac King, 33rd Maintenance Squadron aircraft metals technician, shows Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, Air Education Training Command commander, a horizontal stabilizer during a tour at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Feb. 18, 2016. 33rd Fighter Wing innovations like this one are being used by F-35A Lightning II bases across the United States. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Senior Airman Andrea Posey)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander Air Education and Training Command meets Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets April 19 at John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas. Roberson was inducted as an honorary Silver Eagle, making him the fourth person to receive the honorary title. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander Air Education and Training command, salutes Basic Military Training graduates alongside the 2017 Fiesta Royalty April 21, 2017 at the Graduation Parade at Lackland Air Force Base, T.X. This year marks the 126th anniversary of the colorful Fiesta festivity, honoring traditions deeply rooted throughout the area and celebrating the historic partnerships between the Airmen of Joint Base San Antonio and the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar)
Dawn Tabor, 97th Maintenance Directorate electronic integrated systems mechanic, demonstrates a communication device that is used in an aircraft for U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of Air Education Training Command, April 26, 2016 at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. Roberson visited Altus AFB to gain a better understanding of the base’s training mission and discuss Air Force topics, including the U.S. Air Force KC-46 Pegasus, the importance of AETC missions and the need for innovation in the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kirby Turbak/Released)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson (center), commander of Air Education and Training Command, sits with Maj. Gen. Mark Brown (left), AETC deputy commander and Chief Master Sgt. Juliet Gudgel, AETC command chief during the Continuum of Learning Summit Aug. 1-2, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph, Texas. This event officially kicked off the redesigned Continuum of Learning, an initiative focusing on improving how Airmen learn by integrating education, training and experience in ways that allow them to learn anytime, anywhere throughout their careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez)
From left: From a 2016 Fiesta event with Lynne and Maj. Gen. Leonard Patrick, at far right of photo, are Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, AETC command chief and his wife, Kimberly, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander, and his wife, Cheryl. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer)
Roberson, who has spent 34 years selflessly dedicating himself to the United States Air Force, looks back at his time leading the First Command with pride, knowing that he is leaving the Air Force in the capable and innovative hands of the next generation of Airmen.
As this chapter of his life comes to a close, Roberson discusses the role the Air Force has played in his life, the importance of mentorship and offers candid advice to the Air Force’s newest recruits as they embark on their own journey as Airmen.
Sir, reflecting on your time as the commander of Air Education and Training Command, what has been the most memorable moment for you?
My time as the commander of AETC has been unbelievable. I’ve spent the last two and half years waking up every day inspired by the young Airmen that are coming into our Air Force. Their energy, their passion, their hope for the future, their willingness to serve and sacrifice, potentially with their own lives and their desire to make themselves better, make the Air Force better and make the world better. How can you not be inspired by that?
How do you personally define Airmanship?
For me, Airmanship really means having a mindset for airpower, which is air, space and cyberspace tied together. Working with the joint team to make all of this happen, Airmanship is being air-minded in the sense that how we bring airpower to the fight is critical to our success and our future.
Airmanship is not only about bringing airpower to the fight but it is about wingmanship and teamwork. It is about all the skills, the training, all of the excellence that goes into what we do every single day to make sure that we can do our mission.
How has being an Airman in the United States Air Force changed your life?
Oh wow…well I grew up in a Navy family, I went to the Air Force Academy for four years, and then I came into the Air Force so I’ve never known anything BUT the military. Being a part of the Air Force, you are surrounded by such talent, you’re surrounded by such service and people who are literally willing to give their lives for what we hold most valuable in the United States of America.
Editor’s Note: Roberson will address AETC Airmen one last time during a change of command ceremony Nov. 16 here.