DRILL HALL OF FAME
2016 INDUCTEE OF THE MILITARY DRILL HALL OF FAME
MSgt.(Ret.) David “Speedy” Gonzales
Excellence in military drill training in San Antonio, Texas is thick with talent. To stand out among the giants, you need to excel both off and on the drill floor. In this arena, few can compare to the life being lived by MSgt.(Ret.) David “Speedy” Gonzales.
Born in the city he calls home to this day, MSgt, Gonzales entered the U.S. Air Force in 1971. Just a few years in, he was reassigned military training instructor Lackland AFB in 1976 where his love and understanding of drill took off into the wild blue yonder.
Moving quickly and gaining awards such as instructor team of quarter and the instructor of the month, blue rope of the year, instructor team of the year, NCO of the year and blue rope of the year multiple times, drill became the heart of soul of excellence and passion he wanted to continue after leaving active duty in March of 1991!
In the Fall of 1991, MSgt. Gonzales began working at legendary John Jay H.S. in San Antonio. Taking a team that was already known for excellence, he helped to propel them to a legendary status that assured them of entry into the Drill Hall of Fame. During his eleven year tenure at Jay, MSgt. Gonzalez was the AFJROTC Instructor of the Year on ten different years. He served as the varsity drill team coach for the Armed Silver Eagle drill team and the Unarmed Snap II team for seven years. During his tenure, the program won the district championship seven times, state championship six times and won two separate national championships.
While this body of work and his devotion to the sport of drill for over two decades would certainly be enough to impress any drill devotee and cement inclusion within the Drill Hall of Fame, but the real legend of MSgt. Gonzales began a few years after retirement. With the population growth in San Antonio continuing, a new school was being built and opening in 2016. MSgt. Gonzales came back from retirement to help form the drill team at this then-newest AFJROTC program. As a first year program, the AFJROTC program at O'Connor H.S. program was thrown into the deep end of the pool against legendary schools such as John Jay, Tom Clark, Louis D. Brandeis H.S. despite having very few cadets that had ever worn a uniform. And rather than taking the door mat position most schools in this situation would take, because of the expertise, passion, and teaching ability possessed by MSgt. Gonzales, the program was competitive almost out of the chute. It was amazing to watch this incredibly young program flourish YEARS ahead of the typical timeframe largely due to the efforts of this incredible instructor.
In recent years, MSgt. Gonzales began working with Brennan H.S. also in San Antonio with the Unarmed Drill Team. Working with several other amazing, top drawer instructors, Brennan H.S. AFJROTC is quickly climbing the ranks of drill excellence in the ultra-competitive drill world that is central Texas! Seeing this new group of cadets gaining confidence, experience and awards under his leadership makes everything old new again!
The efforts of MSgt. Gonzales in active duty, JROTC employment after his work in the military and even after retirement have done NOTHING BUT glorify drill at every level. His love for the cadets and his passion for the benefits that competition drill presents on the high school level can be matched by few that have ever worn the uniform. No member of this Drill Hall of Fame can display a more impactful drill career than MSgt. David "Speedy" Gonzales. It remain a high honor to include him within this world of drill excellence.