JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
The preservation of Air Force history is an important task which allows Airmen to look back in time and remember important milestones and events that were important to the identity of a unit. For the last 13 years, Lane Bourgeois, 12th Flying Training Wing historian at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, has ensured the 12th's history lives on forever.
With file folders stuffed to the brim, and binders full of base papers and photographs, it is easy to get overwhelmed at the sheer volume of data that has been collected over the years. That is where Lane comes in, meticulously cataloging and researching every nook and cranny of the wing to ensure nothing falls through the cracks and is lost to history forever.
"Normally what we write as historians is a dissertation, it takes seven months really to write a good history and what it requires is for me to put my head down and lock myself in an ivory tower and just plug away and go through thousands of documents," Lane said. "Everything a historian documents is off the mission, it is mission focused, and you have to capture the documents as their being produced today because tomorrow they will be history."
Recently, Lane was awarded the 2019 Wing Excellence in History Programs award from Air Education and Training Command. The award recognized him for his critical thinking presentation and for being the first wing to produce a historical study in the new preservation format.
"As a historian, to be able to get paid for what you love to do and get an award is just awesome, I'm very grateful."
The new format seeks to produce historical products in a faster and more efficient way so that they are more readily available and can be shared with the unit throughout the year as opposed to one yearly dissertation.