MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. –
Retired Gen. Eugene Habiger is the reviewing official for the Basic Officer Training graduation parade Aug. 31 and is the 2012 Officer Training School distinguished alumni. (Photo by Bud Hancock)
Retired Gen. Habiger honored at OTS



by Airman 1st Class William Blankenship
Air University Public Affairs


9/7/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Retired Gen. Eugene Habiger was honored at Officer Training School as the 2012 distinguished alumni inductee Aug. 30.

During Habiger's visit to Maxwell, he was the guest speaker at Basic Officer Training graduation dining out, honored at the distinguished alumni ceremony and was the reviewing official for the BOT graduation parade.

"It is a great honor to be inducted into this very distinguished group," Habiger said. "OTS laid a foundation for me in my military career. I learned how to be an officer and a lot about leadership and taking care of your troops, integrity and discipline."

As a retired officer with 39 years of military experience, Habiger knows the challenges of OTS. He graduated from Officer Training School when it was at Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex, Texas, in September 1963.

"There have been significant changes to OTS since I went through," said Habiger. "The core values are still taught: integrity, discipline, commitment and leadership. There is a much greater focus on leadership today with the different exercises trainees go through than when I went through in 1963. Even though it's changed significantly, I believe it is for the better. We produced a good product in 1963 but I believe we are producing a better product today."

The former commander in chief, United States Strategic Command, retired in 1998. During his career, Habiger was awarded many major awards, to include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and Distinguished Flying Cross.

"Lines of communications have changed dramatically since I retired with the advent of the Internet," said the retired four star. "The communication flow is much more efficient, but we need to be careful that we don't become an organization that loses personal interaction."

Habinger now enjoys his retirement from the Air Force, living in San Antonio, Texas. He works for the University of Georgia and Harvard University, and owns a construction company and a consulting company. He also works with major oil companies in south-central Texas. His son, Maj. Kurt Habiger, is a lieutenant colonel (select) in the Air Force Reserve.

The distinguished alumni programat OTS began in 2007, recognizing graduates who have distinguished themselves during their time of service. The award, in some cases, can be presented posthumously.