Making the grade

by Staff Sgt. Warren Spearman
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Black Knights Fuels Flight is made up of a dedicated group of professional Airmen, each with their own special story, the crew and their stories  come together every day to make up one of the best fuel flights in the Air Force.
One of those special stories comes in the form of a 26-year-old Airman — Airman 1st Class Robert Kubicek. Many Air Force members join after high school graduation not Kubicek. He first attended college, graduating with a double major in English and European History. He then went on to teach English in Japan for three years before

joining the blue in January 2010. “While I was in Japan, even though I was treated very well, it made me realize how much I got from our country,” Kubicek said. “It made me feel very patriotic and I decided to come back and join a branch of the military.”

In his search for a branch to join, Kubicek, who is also studying for his master’s degree in international relations, decided on the branch that would offer him a challenge.

“I was looking for the branch with the most challenging career fields,” Kubicek said. “The Air Force seemed like the best place for me to go.” As a member of the Black Knights, Kubicek’s job entails fueling planes that ensure the mission success of one of the largest airlift wings in the Air Force. In addition, he enjoys the close knit atmosphere of his shop and his teammates.

“It can be a trying environment and that brings people closer together,” Kubicek said. “It’s the people you work with that make it fun and make it worthwhile.”
Kubicek gives credit to the flight’s success to the high standards set by his leadership.

“Our leadership makes this shop special,” Kubicek said. “There’s a longstanding tradition of discipline and always making sure the mission gets done. It’s a great tradition and our leadership embodies that.”

The alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota plans to resume his master’s courses after he returns from deployment. He stated his short-term goal is getting Senior Airman below-the-zone.
As for his long term goals?

“Completing my master’s degree and getting my Ph.D. in philosophy,” Kubicek said.
When asked about his favorite philosophy quote, Kubicek quoted himself.
“Live by your own measure.”