Former 14th FTW/CC speaks at Class 10-15 Graduation|
by Airman 1st Class Chase Hedrick
14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
10/7/2010 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- A former 14th Flying Training Wing commander spoke to graduates and guests of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 10-15 at their graduation ceremony in the Kaye Auditorium Oct. 1.
Retired Lt. Gen. Garry Trexler, 14th FTW commander from 1993 to 1995, retired as Deputy Commander, United Nations Command; Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea; Commander, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea, and Commander, 7th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Osan Air Base, South Korea.
"It only seems like yesterday I was up on this stage handing out wings to new pilots, and that was 15 years ago," General Trexler said.
General Trexler spoke to the graduating class about owning their achievement and being proud of who they are, but reminded them they did not make it on their own.
He took a moment to thank the graduate's parents for raising their children to be patriots. He thanked the spouses for supporting their husbands, and keeping them grounded. He thanked the base personnel for keeping the base running smoothly and helping to produce the graduating class.
General Trexler emphasized during his speech that freedom is not a natural state, and that it has to be bought in order to keep it, but it is never fully paid for. He pointed out that if it were natural to be free then there would be less oppression and tyranny in the world.
He advised Class 10-15 to stay connected with their classmates, their instructor pilots, and those they had met during their training, telling them those connections will be important for the rest of their military career.
General Trexler also gave several words of advice to pilots in training.
"Apply yourself every day, pay attention to details, and learn as much as you can about flying because it is the one time in your life that your whole time should be devoted to learning how to fly," General Trexler said. "You want to pick the brains of your instructor pilots, you want to read those assignments, and you've got to apply yourself because flying is a dangerous business.