JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas --
Military and San Antonio community leaders honored Chief Master Sgt. Jesse Gomez, 433rd Training Squadron Superintendent, during ceremonies last week in honor of the chief’s retirement after 29 years of uniformed service.
One 433rd TRS member put a fine point on the chief commitment.
“10,633 days - that’s how many days you have worn the cloth of our nation, and every day you have given a part of yourself to every person you’ve come in contact with,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ricardo Chavez, 433rd operations superintendent.
The retirement ceremony for Gomez, who is also the Air Force Reserve Command military training instructor functional manager, was held April 21 at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (or IAAFA), Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, officiated by Maj. Timothy Martin, Strategic Planner/Air Force Reserve Advisor to the Joint Staff, Joint Force Development Directorate.
The chief was also honored by Air Education and Training Command leaders, and San Antonio distinguished guests, including Fiesta representatives and royalty, during the April 20 basic military training graduation. At that ceremony, Fiesta Cavaliers King Antonio also presented the chief with a commemorative 2018 Fiesta coin.
Gomez enlisted in the Air Force Reserve in 1989, and started his career as a special purpose vehicle mechanic. He served with the 307th Red Horse Squadron at JBSA-Lackland, the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Colorado, and in a variety of increasingly notable roles within the military training environment, including military training instructor, military training instructor school instructor, training superintendent, and others.
A lauded leader, mentor and friend, the chief earned a variety of awards, decorations and recognition throughout his career. His numerous awards include the Air Force Achievement, Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals, and he earned the coveted Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gary R. Pfingston Master MTI of the Year, Blue Rope of the Year and Senior NCO of the Year awards, as well.
It was a bittersweet morning for the chief who recalled his enlistment 29 years ago (and his MTI, with whom he is now good friends). He explained that every duty, every task, every experience helps you grow, and resilience is developed over time as a result of those duties, tasks and experiences; continuing to teach and mentor his teammates even during his own retirement.
Thanking his wife and family for their strength and resilience over the past three decades, he noted that it hasn’t always been an easy life, “But it’s been a great life!”
Although he no longer wears “the cloth of his nation,” the chief continues to wear the cloak of service as a civilian employee at IAAFA.