WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Reenlistments are known well among the military world as an extension of a member’s time in service. For Master Sgt. Robert Martin, flight safety superintendent with the 358th Fighter Squadron, reenlistment represents something more.
“Reenlistment represents a dedication to the country,” said Martin. “It shows the American government that you’re ready to commit to them for another however many years.”
In Martin’s case, another four years is what he plans to commit to, as that will put him past 20 years in service. While this reenlistment is potentially his last, Martin has another reason that makes it significant.
As Martin was a former crew chief, his reenlistment in 2008 was experienced on an F-16 Falcon he maintained with retired Col. Ken Rizer, now a first officer for Flexjet. Martin plans to recreate the reenlistment, but with the roles reversed. He will be the pilot and Rizer will join as a passenger.
“It’s been exciting to see the qualities I recognized in him as a staff sergeant have grown to a point where he’s now a leader in our Air Force,” said Rizer. “His future, whether in the Air Force or later in a flying career, looks very bright.”
With this last term of enlistment, Martin said he hopes to take his knowledge as a pilot and maintainer and educate folks internally on safety. He said he also hopes to inspire future aviators by getting certified as a flight instructor and begin teaching himself.
“If you want to fly, go find someone who’s done it already,” said Martin as words of advice. “Don’t say you want to do it, go do it and attack it,”
Martin said his end goal is to fly for a major airline.
“I’m going to fly as long as flying’s fun,” said Martin.