News | Aug. 11, 2016

Citizen Airman named “Outstanding Airman of the Year”

By Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams 940th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Aaron M. Tobler, a geospatial intelligence analyst assigned to the 50th Intelligence Squadron here, was one of 12 Airmen selected for the “Outstanding Airman of the Year” award for the Air Force.


“It’s truly a unique honor,” said Tobler. “It’s an extraordinarily humbling experience.”


The award recognizes top enlisted Airmen for their unique individual achievements in leadership, job performance, significant self-improvement and community involvement.


Tobler has demonstrated exemplary accomplishments in each of these areas.


As a traditional reservist, Tobler works with the Air Force part-time. When not in uniform, he is a manager at the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Although his positions are not directly related, he has found ways to use his civilian job to better his position with the Air Force and improve his leadership skills.


“Being a manager has made me a better sergeant,” said Tobler. “I was fortunate enough to have a lot of self-improvement trainings and courses through CDSS.”


Along with leadership, Tobler has shown greatness in his job performance.


He strives for excellence and does everything he can to ensure the job gets done well.


“I approach every product I do as something that could potentially go very far,” said Tobler. “I put every effort into each product to make it as accurate as possible.”


Whether Tobler is wearing the uniform or not, he puts extra effort in helping his squadron accomplish the mission.


“He is incredibly responsive with emails and anything he is asked to do during the month,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrea Wiyrick, 50th IS intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flight chief and Tobler’s supervisor.


Tobler doesn’t do this for the recognition. Instead, he puts the extra time and effort to assist his fellow Airmen and the Air Force as a whole.


“If it’s my way of helping them do their jobs more easily, than it’s worth it,” said Tobler.


Staying involved throughout the month not only benefits his fellow Airmen when he is here, but also when he isn’t here.


“He is always ready for the mission,” Wiyrick said. “Because of that, he can assist other traditional reservists on the weekends.”


Helping is a common theme in Tobler’s life.


After working his full-time job and keeping up to date with the mission here, he spent multiple hours per week volunteering in his community for Rocklin Residents Unite for Fido as an active member and served on their Board of Directors.


Tobler also volunteers with Friendship Place in Washington, where he offers strategic fundraising support and is a regular blood donor.


On a more personal level, Tobler enjoys helping fellow Airmen better themselves.


“I really enjoy mentoring and talking to younger people, and giving them advice about educational goals,” said Tobler.


After winning this prestigious award, he is looking forward to more opportunities to give back to his fellow Airmen, further educational opportunities with his jobs, and growing within the Air Force Reserve.


“I’m excited to see what opportunities may arise down the line,” said Tobler.

Tobler will formally accept this award on September 19 in Washington.