Cheyenne ‘Big Boot’ Unveiled at F.E. Warren Air Force Base

Civic and military leaders of the 90th Missile Wing and local community helped unveil the installation of a “Cheyenne Big Boot” at a ceremony outside of Gate 1 on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, on Wednesday.

The boot given to the wing was part of the Leadership Cheyenne 2021 class project, but the overall program is overseen by the Cheyenne Depot Museum. The ceremony was organized to celebrate the base’s inclusion into the Big Boot “club,” of which there are 36 other boots in Cheyenne.

The eight-foot-tall boots around town were painted by local artists and depict historical and cultural aspects of the city and state.

“The base and the city have a long history together, and the boot placed at the gate further cements that fact,” said Col. Johnny Galbert, 90th Missile Wing commander. “Our roots to the community go deep and having this display is just another demonstration of our strong partnership.”

At least one leader from the 90 MW typically attends Leadership Cheyenne, a program designed to educate participants on the economy and history of the greater Cheyenne region. While in the class, each cohort is expected to put together a project to help beautify the community.

“As Col. Galbert said, this is a symbol of the partnership between the city and the base, and part of that partnership is the Leadership Cheyenne program, which, through the Chamber of Commerce, brings leaders in the community together to learn more about that community,” said Col. John Schantz, 90th Maintenance Group commander and current class participant. “This boot is from a past Leadership Cheyenne class, and as you can see, we have pretty big shoes to fill.”

Though the base did not have a boot on display until this month, Leadership Cheyenne class 2020-2021 wanted to include F.E. Warren, and set the ball in motion to create and install one of the local monuments outside the base. The boot was installed Oct. 16, and today marked the official celebration of its installation.

“Our class voted to provide a boot for F.E. Warren to show our appreciation for the Airmen who work so hard,” said Lisa Maney, Convention Sales Manager for Visit Cheyenne and Leadership Cheyenne class graduate. “It is a thank you to the hard-working men and women at the 90th Missile Wing for being on alert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The boot is another symbol of the long connection between the base and the city of Cheyenne, as is the program that helped drive its creation and installation.

“Great leaders are not born, they are made. They are made by the decisions they make, their backgrounds and a willingness to conform and learn what it takes to be a great leader,” said Dale Steenbergen, president of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce. “Leadership Cheyenne tries to do exactly that, to raise up people that our going to move our community, our state and our nation forward, and we are so lucky that the folks from the Air Force partner with us on that, because there are no greater leaders in our country than those in the armed forces.”