Heritage and the wheel cap

  • Published
  • By Col. Lee Landis, 515th Air Mobility Operations Group commander
  • 515th Air Mobility Operation Group
The U.S. Air Force has an incredible heritage and the wheel cap is part of that proud tradition.  Until recently, I had only worn my field-grade officer wheel cap once in the previous 12 years and that was for a U.S. Transportation Command Change of Command parade. I am recently currently assigned to command Air Mobility enroute forces in Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Diego Garcia.  To cage my thinking about airlift support for major combat operations, I decided to read Gen. Tunner's famous book, "Over the Hump."  In the book, the air power pioneer described the different major airlift operations he commanded which prevented the loss of life, delivered combat supplies over the most grueling of routes, fought expansion of communism, invented air evacuation tactics and truly saved the city of Berlin.  While reading the book, I noticed the photos with Airmen in wheel caps and thought, "why don't I ever wear my wheel cap?" I have made a pledge to start wearing the wheel cap with my service dress and blues combination uniforms as a tip of the hat to Airmen who have paved the way with extraordinary initiative and innovation.  You can join me if you desire, but if not, I request you at least re-dedicate yourself to perpetuate Air Force heritage in your daily activities.