F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. --
The dorms of F.E. Warren Air Force Base will be getting a name change. While the dorms are currently known as just a building with a number, sometime in the future they will be named after people who served with a lasting impact to the Air Force.
“It was a 20th Air Force initiative that came down to give some ownership to the dorm members and where they stay,” said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Vittetoe, the Airmen dorm management NCOIC with the 90th Civil Engineering Squadron. “Right now it’s ‘hey, you live in this numbered building so go over there’ and there’s no significance to it.”
The name change will be of people who served before to give the Airmen an attachment and pride when it comes to their living space.
“We have enlisted members who live in the dorms, so we wanted to rename them after people who have served and done something notable in the Air Force,” said Vittetoe. “Whether it’s in terms of diversity or saving lives, they’ve impacted the Air Force.”
Diversity is a large part of Air Force culture, made apparent through the pool of chosen candidates.
“While there are a lot of people who have done great things in the Air Force, we are wanting to shift and recognize diversity and breaking barriers,” said Vittetoe. “We wanted to pick people who embody those things.”
Some of the people whose names were chosen include Staff Sgt. Eva Romero Jacques, the first hispanic woman to serve in the Air Force. Her plaque would read “I went to Mass one Sunday and the priest asked the mothers to please don’t interfere if your daughters are willing to go into the military. Please don’t keep them from going, because it’s everybody’s war.”
Chief Master Sgt. Dorothy W. Holmes has also been chosen. She was the first African American female to reach the rank of chief master sergeant and was also the first female to retire with 30 years of continuous service in the Air Force. Her plaque would read “A trailblazer for 30 years and beyond.”
“We also wanted to highlight some of the importance for F.E. Warren,” said Vittetoe. “We didn’t want to do just Air Force wide, so we included the Buffalo Soldiers.”
The Buffalo Soldiers, a unit of African American soldiers named by local Native American tribes, served on the Western frontier after the Civil War. Their plaque would read “These fighting men represented the first Black professional soldiers in a peacetime Army who served with the utmost courage and discipline.”
“We don’t want to just slap a plaque on these dorms and call it a day,” said Vittetoe. “We want to highlight these influential leaders so we decided to make a heritage wall inside the dorms to highlight the changes and notable experiences along with biographies.”
“The Airmen will be able to come in there and see all of this,” said Vittetoe. “That will give the Airmen that ownership feeling we’re driving for.”