Education center names building in honor of former commandant, enlisted leader

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center
The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center dedicated its unnamed dormitory building in honor of a former commandant who served in the highest enlisted position in the Air National Guard.

During a naming ceremony today, building 412 was named Moon Hall.

"Chief Moon, we are inspired by your contributions and it is so very fitting that we should continue to honor you with the naming of this building," said Col. Jessica Meyeraan, commander.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Richard Moon had served as the fifth senior enlisted advisor to the Director of the Air National Guard before his retirement in 1994.

"It is an extremely humbling experience," said Moon, who also once served as commandant for TEC's Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center.

"Back when I was the commandant, those who worked for me were called Moonies, and I considered that a compliment, so from this point forward, everyone in that building will be a Moonie," he said.

The multi-story, three-section brick complex holds the base's billeting offices as well as 68 dormitory rooms and 126 beds. That includes five distinguished visitors' suites named after former commandants - Moon Suite is among them.

During the dedication ceremony, Meyeraan unveiled for Moon a photograph of his memorabilia, which will be hung for display. The group also watched a time-lapse video of the Moon Hall letters being installed on the building's north, outside wall last week. Moon's wife, Margret, also watched in attendance.

"This is where it started," said Moon, who regarded his service at the TEC. "It inspired me, and the rest is history."

Moon - a lifelong Iowan - first joined the U.S. Navy in 1964. He joined the Iowa Air National Guard in 1972. He was a firefighter, a first sergeant and an instructor, among many other duties and positions.

At his career high, Moon oversaw the Air National Guard's enlisted force at a time just weeks following the Kuwait invasion and the ensuing Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Considerable national events also followed during his tenure, including the Cold War's end, the Los Angeles riots, Hurricane Andrew, the bombing at the World Trade Center, the Storm of the Century, and the Northridge earthquake.

Officials credited Moon as a key figure in establishing the Air National Guard's enlisted field advisory council.

The building now in his name was constructed in the early 90's in the final phase of a multi-million dollar construction project of what is today's modern campus. It remained undedicated after all other campus buildings were named after former TEC staff and supporters.

Moon Hall was refurbished recently with new furniture, mattresses and pillows. Some third-floor dormitory rooms offer guests open views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains from the hillside location.

Moon also gave a keynote speech during the day's NCO academy and Airman leadership school graduation ceremony.