Comptroller training chief retires after 47 years
Jerry Haynes, 81st Comptroller Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., briefs students of a financial management apprentice class on the locations of their first assignment along with general information on the assignment swap program and obtaining a sponsor. Haynes retired April 30, 2012, with 21 years of active duty and 26 years of civil service. (Courtesy photo)
Comptroller training chief retires after 47 years

by Susan Griggs
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

5/2/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Sixty years ago, Jerry Haynes left his Illinois home to begin his military profession. He ended his Air Force career Monday with 21 years of active duty and 26 years of civil service.

"Mr. Haynes has been the backbone of comptroller training for many years," said Maj. Robin Smith, 335th Training Squadron comptroller training flight commander. "The amount of knowledge he possesses about the training environment is incredible. The financial management learning center staff will definitely miss him, but our FM students will miss him more. They are losing a great mentor who truly understands the needs of our Airmen."

For the past nine years, Haynes has been the training development element chief for comptroller training in the 335th TRS. He held the same position at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, from 1994 to 2003, when he helped to move the comptroller schoolhouse to Keesler.

After basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, Haynes was assigned to Sheppard as an R-3750 engine change instructor. He was a jet engine test cell instructor at Chanute AFB, Ill., and a jet engine mechanic at Grissom AFB, Ind., and Itazuke Air Base, Japan. He also worked as a production control scheduler at Itazuke before moving to Patrick AFB, Fla., for a contract maintenance assignment.

Haynes returned to Chanute as a maintenance scheduling instructor in 1965 and served a year as noncommissioned officer in charge of production control at Korat AB, Thailand. He became the NCO in charge of maintenance scheduling at Robins AFB, Ga., and retired from active duty in 1973.

After a 13-year hiatus from federal service, he returned to the Air Force in 1986 as a civilian instructor in maintenance scheduling, aerospace ground equipment and the aircraft maintenance officer courses. He also served as a training specialist for the aircraft maintenance officer course, first at Chanute and later at Sheppard.

Mr. Haynes said, "The best thing about being an instructor is teaching the newest Air Force members information about their career field and watching the 'light bulb' turn on when they absorbed the material and knew what you was talking about, especially when you related your field experiences to them."

He remarked that the most challenging aspect of his job has been keeping current with the latest changes in the career field.

During his tenure at Keesler, Mr. Haynes has seen more than 8,100 students graduate from the comptroller schoolhouse. He was also instrumental in the $5.3 million renovation of the financial management learning center in Allee Hall.

"The outstanding leadership and people make Keesler an outstanding base," Mr. Haynes commented. "The personnel in the 335th TRS are the best people I have worked with in many years. The personnel in the comptroller training flight are outstanding and they've helped make my career a huge success."

Haynes and his wife, Pam, plan to move back to Illinois after they sell their house in Gulfport to live near family. Two of their sons have passed away, but they have another son, two grandchildren and an "adopted" son and daughter, Maj. Steven Gray of Shriever AFB, Colo., and Capt. Ewa Gray of Peterson AFB, Colo. Steven Gray was an enlisted instructor he mentored at Sheppard, and he and his wife both were commissioned through Officer Training School.

"I look forward to doing volunteer work now -- at this point, I don't want a paying job and be tied to a schedule and told what to do," he added