SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
A 6-foot tall, bronze statue, known to Airmen as the 'Maintenance Man', was unveiled on Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 13, 2017, near the Main Gate.
The 82nd Training Wing graduates approximately 60,000 Airmen each year including all aircraft maintainers. The statue represents a lineage of exceptional maintainers that have received their training at Sheppard.
The statue is a larger version of the Leo Marquez Award that is given to Airmen in the maintenance career field for outstanding performance. Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Engineering in 1978 and is known throughout the Air Force as “the godfather of maintenance.”
“If you looked up the terms excellence, integrity, service and leadership, I wouldn’t be surprised if a picture of Leo Marquez was pulled up,” said Lt. Gen. John Cooper, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection.
Marquez is known for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the maintenance career field including the creation of the specialty badge that maintainers wear on their uniform.
“Every maintainer in the Air Force relates to and understands this symbol,” said Brig. Gen. Ronald Jolly Sr., 82nd Training Wing commander. “His vision has brought us to where we are today.”
The statue was gifted to the base by the Logistics Officer Association and the unveiling ceremony culminated a three-day Logistics Strategy Summit hosted by the 82nd Training Wing. Directly behind the statue sits a newly positioned T-38 Talon static display.
“The T-38 was an avionics training aircraft for our Sheppard aircraft maintainers and it has the ‘ST’ tail flash, which symbolizes the history of Sheppard training,” Jolly said. “It symbolizes and honors the history of aircraft maintainers that have come before us and the future of the aircraft maintainers that we are training today.”
In addition to the unveiling of the statue and T-38 static display, Sheppard renamed avenues D and E in honor of Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez and his contributions to the Air Force maintenance community. The former avenues D and E will now be known as Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Blvd.