by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
I.G. Brown Training and Education Center
4/10/2015 - MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- The
I.G. Brown Training and Education Center dedicated its unnamed
dormitory building April 10 in honor of a former commandant who served
in the highest enlisted position in the Air National Guard.
During a naming ceremony, the former building 412 was re-named Moon Hall
in honor of retired Chief Master Sgt. Richard Moon, who served as the
fifth senior enlisted advisor to the Director of the Air National Guard
before his retirement in 1994.
"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, TEC commander.
"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 recounted 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 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait 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 bearing his name was constructed in the early '90s
during the final phase of a multi-million dollar construction project.
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.