F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – Eleven dormitories were officially renamed at a ceremony in the newly renamed Romero-Jacques Hall, April 14 on F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
Each of those buildings were named for someone who left a lasting effect on the Air Force, either through breaking barriers for those who would come after them or through acts of combat heroism, where before the dorms were merely numbered.
The list of honorees includes three Medal of Honor winners, the first African-American Chief Master Sergeant, one of the first Hispanic women to serve and the U.S. Army’s Buffalo Soldiers, among others.
Diversity and airman empowerment were the primary focus areas for this effort, and while the renaming was part of a directive from the 20th Air Force, there was a strong push to ensure Airmen had ownership over the change, according to Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Vittetoe, dorm management NCO in charge with the 90th Civil Engineering Squadron.
“The dorm council, made up of elected Airmen from within the dorms, were able to choose the honoree,” said Vittetoe. “It was up to them to research the names, find someone who resonated with them personally and present a case for that individual to have his or her name attached to their dorm. The Airmen were responsible for the names that their own dorms would have.”
Several of those chosen were picked because of the doors they opened for Airmen who came after.
“While there are a lot of people who have done great things in the Air Force, we wanted to recognize diversity and breaking barriers,” said Vittetoe. “These Airmen picked people who embody those things.”
During the ceremony, Col. Peter Bonetti, 90th Missile Wing commander, drew parallels to the Airmen and soldiers honored during the ceremony to those currently residing within the dorm halls and how our past rings through to the present through those honored.
“This is the kind of Airman that we’re talking about at the 90th Missile Wing and that’s the kind of Airman we want to remember every single time we talk about heritage,” said Bonetti. “Our heritage is important as it is the values that we espouse and the pieces and parts of our culture we believe are important.”
As he closed, Bonetti expressed hope that the lessons taught by those honored continue to be remembered by the generations of Airmen that come after and live in those dorms.
“When Airmen walk through these halls, I hope they learn about their Air Force heritage and I hope they’re proud of the sacrifices made by the Airmen before them to give us this incredible institution,” said Bonetti. “Everyone that we’ve honored today, everyone that we’ve named one of our halls after has exhibited incredible core values and in some cases, made the ultimate sacrifice.”