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Resilient Airman supports innovation, wins top award

By Randy Martin | 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs | Jan. 2, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANOTNIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
The Air Force named a 12th Operations Group “problem-solver” at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph as its installation-level Resource Advisor of the Year for 2018.

“I strive to do my best every day,” said Autry Fontenot, a budget analyst in the 12th Operations Group.    

Fontenot will receive the award May 29, 2019 at the American Society of Military Comptrollers National Professional Development Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

“I enjoy taking care of people and anticipating what others need,” he said.

Despite his wife’s passing away three years ago, Fontenot showed resilience. Both were recently retired military at the time. He said that his active duty deployments to Afghanistan and Haiti, his faith in God, and support from fellow airmen give him the strength he needs.

In 2014 he retired after a 20-year enlisted security forces career with the Air Force. His recent selection for the Air Force award caps a busy second year for Fontenot personally as a new civil service employee. 

At home, he is a caregiver for his late wife’s parents and his own mother. He also volunteers in the community and helps the elderly, homeless, and disabled veterans.


“God only gives you what you can handle and we have a family mindset in the 12th Operations Group,” Fontenot said. His fellow airmen said they felt Fontenot deserved the recognition.

“Our entire 12th Flying Training Wing team was incredibly excited and proud of him” said Lt. Col. Reid Wynans, a deputy commander of 12th OG at JBSA-Randolph. “When someone like Autry receives these types of accolades, it reinforces the esprit de corps of the entire team.”

In his office at Hangar 63 on JBSA-Randolph, Fontenot supports pilot training innovations by managing millions of dollars. 

Last year he ordered dozens of training aids and virtual reality systems for the group along with a fast internet connection that is changing the way pilot instructors teach students to fly training jets. Fontenot purchased modern electronic flight bags and aircrew flight equipment to improve piloting and support dozens of Air Education and Training Command units. 

He is also a steward for the accounts other airmen use for official travel and smaller, routine purchases.  


“At his core, Autry is a problem solver. He finds a way around difficult problems and reaches an ethical, thorough, and creative solutions,” Wynans said.

Fontenot said he is driven to accomplish even more. He is pursuing a master’s degree during his spare time.       

“When you connect Autry’s accomplishments to the strategic messaging coming from the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force on down to the 12th Wing and Operations Group leadership, you immediately recognize that this guy really gets it,” Wynans said.