The 412th Maintenance Group said fairwell to their group commander, Col. Robby Weaver, in a retirement ceremony, July 10.
Weaver is retired after 25 years in the Air Force, the last three of which were spent in the 412th MXG, which he credits as “without exception” his greatest assignment.
“Every place that we have gone the community has embraced us, you guys, the community here, is what has kept us in the Air Force and it’s fantastic,” said Weaver. “I kind of made a joke the first 20 or so years of my career, that the Air Force was what I was doing until I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. Imagine the irony about five years ago, when I realized what I want to be is an American Airman.”
Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, shared that, as an Airman in the 412th MXG, Weaver†led a workforce that collectively performed 7,000 sorties and 12,000 hours annually. And all of that was accomplished mishap-free.
“But it’s really more than what he’s done, it’s how Robby has done it. He’s a genuinely nice guy and your sincerity comes through in everything you do. You don’t get to see the pieces that I do, but Robby is always talking about the people and how do we take care of folks,” said Brewer.
In addition to his duties as a group commander, Weaver took on the challenge of creating a winning robotics team at Desert Jr.-Sr. High School – Scorpion Robotics. That first year, the team made it to the regional finals, putting them in the top eight percent in the nation.
Brewer’s wife Debbie also spoke at the ceremony sharing that the day was “as much about Susan as it is about Robby.”
She shared that she had gotten to know Susan through her participation in the spouses club, more specifically during their Monday game of Mahjong.
“I began my ‘Mondays are All About You Speech,’” said Debbie. “I think spouses deserve one day a week that is all about us, where there is no laundry, no housework, no commissary or ,well, anything.”
After teaching the group how to play, Susan approached her and said, “Dang it Debbie, I didn’t want to like this, I’m not sure I can commit to Mondays.” To which Debbie thought, “What does that lady do that keeps her so busy?”
What she learned about Susan was that she started the first Odyssey of the Mind teams at Desert Jr.-Sr. High and Branch Elementary School three years ago. The first team went to Worlds competition. The second year, three of four teams went to regionals and state, while the fourth advanced all the way to Worlds. The third year, all three teams won regionals and went to state.
Also in that third year, Susan took on the role of manager for the robotics team in addition to all of her involvement in the church.
“She had majored in international studies and was planning to join the Peace Corps, but a funny thing happened on the way to that dream, you married Robby and joined the Air Force,” said Debbie. “What struck me is that you may not have travelled across the world with the Peace Corps, but instead you have travelled across the world with your Air Force family and at each base and each assignment, you have made a difference in each of the lives of the people you have touched, personally, I would call that a very successful career.”
Attending their retirement ceremony were friends, family, co-workers, leadership and members of the Scorpion Robotics and Odyssey of the Mind teams.
“It has been my honor to serve and represent the maintainers and the engineers that keep these beautiful machines flying safely each and every day. What you do is amazing and I have done my best to serve you in the way that you deserve so keep up the great work that you are doing, you are absolutely going to make us proud,” said Weaver.
He closed with one final, un-official command, to take five minutes every week to stop and think about what the 412th MXG does, and to appreciate how awesome the job is.
“We are part, in the Air Force, of the best, the most powerful military force in the history of the planet,” said Weaver. “We are the most professional military organization ever.”