SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
The U.S. Air Force celebrated the life and lasting contributions of fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert D. Gaylor at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Feb. 10, 2024.
The morning featured a memorial service held at JBSA-Lackland’s Gateway Chapel and included guest speakers: 19th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, 12th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Eric Benken, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ken Gaylor, CMSAF Gaylor’s son. Retired Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Bob Page officiated both ceremonies.
“Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gaylor served our Airmen and our Air Force for over 75 years,” Bass said. “He wore this uniform for 31 and continued for another 44, no doubt still feeling like a kid at Christmas. Our Air Force is better because of CMSAF Bob Gaylor. He is a national treasure; he is a legend; he is an American Airman, and his legacy will live on in all of us.”
Following the memorial service, the family escorted Gaylor to his final resting place at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard rendered full military honors, while the U.S. Air Force Band of the West ceremonial ensemble played “Taps” and “The Air Force Hymn.” The ceremony concluded with a three-ship T-38 Talon flyover in the missing-man formation and a presentation of the American flag to Gaylor’s family.
Gaylor leaves a legacy of military professional development through his contributions to the growth of the early noncommissioned officer academy. His direct efforts, both during and after his active duty service, aimed to improve the Air Force through further developing its people.
Bass pointed out Gaylor’s strong reputation for PME development.
“The incredible character of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gaylor would make him the perfect fit to teach and develop a generation of Airmen,” Bass said.
After his retirement in 1979, Gaylor worked full-time and continued to offer speaking engagements for service members around the world.
“Hot fries, name on the mailbox, attitude, aptitude and opportunity,” Bass said. “Name another Airman you can identify with a single phrase or a collection of words that has left a lasting impact on the Air Force and our Airmen, both past and present. There is only one: Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Bob Gaylor, our beloved number five.”