Registrar keeps students on track

  • Published
  • By Frank McIntyre
  • Public Affairs
If you're a student at Vance Air Force Base, you can run but you can't hide from Gene Kornman.
As school registrar for the 71st Operations Support Squadron, Mr. Kornman is probably the one person on base who has contact with every single student for every phase of their time on station.
"I'm probably the only one on base who can tell where any student is at any given time," Mr. Kornman said. "With all the movement through phases or changes in training, the system can't always keep up with them, but I do."
If you doubt his word, he'll give you examples such as the base locator contacting him to find a student or the absent without leave student he tracked to a foreign country to bring back.
As school registrar, Mr. Kornman keeps a data base with all pertinent student information, including biographical, academic and service information.
Since assuming his job in October 1997, Mr. Kornman estimates he has dealt with more than 4,000 students. He said he has been at Vance AFB long enough that he has seen some former students return to the base as instructor pilots and won't be surprised to soon see former students returning for leadership positions.
For the OSS training flight, Mr. Kornman "is the heart of training," said Maj David Weas, OSS assistant director of operations and former training flight commander "He's the key focal point between the students and the operational side of the student flight."
To the students, Mr. Korman is a "wealth of knowledge.
"He knows his job and does it well," said student 2nd Lt Matt Franchetti. "He's a Renaissance man. Whether it's a computer problem or Air Force life, if he doesn't have the answer, he knows where to get it."
"I often serve as an unofficial 'mentor' for the students who may view me as less of a threat than their instructors when they have basic questions such as 'What should I do when the music is playing outside.'"
Last year the Training Information System or TIMS, a new data base for tracking training, came online primarily in preparation for the T-6A's arrival.
"When TIMS came into use, Mr.. Kornman told us that since he already had the data that we needed he would enter it into the system for us," said Maj James Gallaugher, 5th Flying Training Squadron and TIMS monitor for the 71st Operations Group. "His action saved us from having to pass on the data to another office to be entered, saving time and efforts."
Mr. Kornman also serves as facilitator for the Commander's Review Program. Between 80 and 100 students each year have their status evaluated by the 71st Flying Training Wing commander to decide whether or not they will remain in the training program or, if removed from flight training, if they will remain on active duty.
Much of the "wealth of knowledge" students and staff attribute to him came from Mr. Kornman's 22-year Air Force career in life support, retiring from active duty in 1996. Now that experience helps him support student life at Vance AFB.