by Staff Sgt. Chris Hubenthal
Defense Media Activity - Hawaii News Bureau
4/2/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Pacific
Air Forces held a remembrance ceremony to honor the life and military
service of James Binnicker, ninth chief master sergeant of the Air
Force, at the Binnicker Professional Military Education Center
here March 31.
Binnicker passed away March 21 at the age of 76.
He served as chief master sergeant of the Air Force from July 1, 1986,
until his retirement on Aug. 1, 1990. During his tenure, Binnicker
worked toward the implementation of the Enlisted Performance Report
performance feedback system and worked toward getting more master
sergeants admitted into the Senior NCO Academy.
Chief Master Sgt. Harold Hutchison, Pacific Air Forces command chief master sergeant, spoke at the remembrance ceremony.
"We pause to remember and honor Chief Binnicker today," Hutchison said.
"He was a man who was recognized by so many as a leader, mentor, friend
and one who dedicated his life to others. We honor the chief because he
made a difference in all the ways that really matter in this lifetime."
After his retirement, Binnicker continued to serve the enlisted force by
mentoring airmen attending Airman Leadership School at Hurlburt Field,
Florida. Binnicker also helped provide homes to retired enlisted
couples, surviving spouses and military family members as part of the
Air Force Enlisted Village.
"His service to our great force didn't end when he retired," Hutchison
said. "He could have easily rested on his laurels, sat back in his chair
and reminisced on all of his accomplishments. But no, that wasn't Chief
Binnicker. After generations of taking care of active duty, Guard and
Reserve, he took on the enormous responsibility of caring for and
looking after our extended air force family when he became the CEO of
our enlisted village."
The PME Center was dedicated in honor of Binnicker in 2012 and Tech.
Sgt. John Robertson, 15th Wing Binnicker PME Center Airman Leadership
School and NCO Academy instructor, remembers the experience of meeting
him for the first time.
"That was a real awesome experience," Robertson said. "That was the
first time I had the opportunity to meet him and it was evident of his
passion for Airmen. He's a big presence. Some of the speakers today
talked about it. He was very candid. He had a lot of experience, job
knowledge and a ton of intellect to back up what he told you. It was
very intimidating to meet him for the first time but, at the same time, I
tried to soak up all that knowledge and learn from it."
Senior Airman Kyle Smith, ALS Class 15-B student, hopes to emulate Binnicker's example during his Air Force career.
"Chief was all about knowing his Airmen and caring for them," Smith
said. "I think that's the greatest example for Airmen today to follow;
caring for one another, being wingmen and being the best Airman that
they can be. It is a privilege and honor to be here today and to show
him the respect he deserves."
Hutchison offered a quote from Binnicker to end his speech, followed by
the retiring of the colors during the events retreat ceremony.
"A few years ago someone asked the chief how he wanted to be
remembered," Hutchison said. "After he sat there for a moment and
collected his thoughts, he answered, 'That I did my best. I hope that
most people would say the same thing, and that's all you can ask of
anybody. That's all the country can ask of you. That you did your