NCO Academy graduate has deep Keesler roots

  • Published
  • By Susan Griggs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
A July 13 graduate of Mathies NCO Academy Class 11-5 has ties to Keesler that reach back more than 50 years.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Cummings, a security forces member of the 91st Security Forces Group at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle by training at Keesler.

Jesse Cummings, a contractor at Barksdale AFB, La., said his father, Loland Cummings, first came to Keesler in 1950 after basic training and returned on temporary duty in 1968. Jesse Cummings first visited Keesler in 1970 with his father and stepmother.

"My Dad had to attend some electronic technical training, which I thought was odd at the time since he was a master sergeant," Jesse Cummings remembered. "I was just out of high school that summer and gladly tagged along for a few weeks of fun, sun, sand, seafood and cool gulf breezes."

A few years later, Jesse Cummings found himself getting on the bus after graduating basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas.

"I thought I was headed to the airport and then to Keesler for more fun, sun, sand, seafood, girls, and cool gulf breezes and electronics training," he recalled. "However, much to my chagrin, the bus let me off on the other side of the base. That's when I discovered that one electronics school -- crypto electronics school -- wasn't at Keesler. It was right there at Lackland for nine months!"

Later in his career, about 1985, he returned to Keeslerto attend the NCO Academy, just as his son has done this summer.

"I remember that I did my big paper and speech on the history of Air Force first sergeants," Jesse Cummings said. "The First Sergeant School was conveniently located right next door. My younger brother, who was an F-16 crew chief over at Eglin AFB, Fla., came over for my graduation. Then, about 1988, he also attended the NCO Academy at Keesler."

Jesse Cummings is extremely proud of his son Jason, who's served several deployments in America's war on terror.

"I've retired from the Air Force, but my son continues the Keesler TDY tradition begun by his grandfather way back in 1950," Jesse Cummings declared. "For our family, the legend continues."