Budget analyst earns AFRC’s Outstanding NCO honor

Technical Sergeant Gilberto Hernandez, (right) 340th Flying Training Group, non-commissioned officer of the year, briefs Major Thallas Lumpkin, June 15, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Hernandez was announced as the Air Force Reserve Command’s Outstanding NCO of the Year for 2015 at a banquet April 16 in Jacksonville, Fla., and he advances to represent the command in the competition for Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year honors.

Technical Sergeant Gilberto Hernandez, (right) 340th Flying Training Group, non-commissioned officer of the year, briefs Major Thallas Lumpkin, June 15, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Hernandez was announced as the Air Force Reserve Command’s Outstanding NCO of the Year for 2015 at a banquet April 16 in Jacksonville, Fla., and he advances to represent the command in the competition for Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year honors.

Technical Sergeant Gilberto Hernandez, 340th Flying Training Group, non-commissioned officer of the year, poses with his award June 15, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Hernandez led the processing of more than 25,000 military pay transactions with a 98.6 percent accuracy rate in 2015.

Technical Sergeant Gilberto Hernandez, 340th Flying Training Group, non-commissioned officer of the year, poses with his award June 15, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Hernandez led the processing of more than 25,000 military pay transactions with a 98.6 percent accuracy rate in 2015.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Tech. Sgt. Gilberto Hernandez, 340th Flying Training Group budget analyst, may have been the most surprised person in the room when he received one of the Air Force Reserve Command’s most prestigious awards in April.

“I was shocked that I won,” he said. “I never shook so many hands in my life.”

Hernandez, 340th FTG financial management budget analyst, who led the processing of more than 25,000 military pay transactions with a 98.6 percent accuracy rate in 2015, was announced as the AFRC’s Outstanding NCO of the Year for 2015 at a banquet April 16 in Jacksonville, Fla. He advances to represent the command in the competition for Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year honors.

“I was very humbled to receive the award for AFRC’s Outstanding NCO of the Year,” Hernandez said. “There are many outstanding NCOs in the Air Force Reserve all across the country. To be named as the overall outstanding NCO is an honor and legacy I will try my best to live up to as the winners before me have done. I am truly grateful and appreciative that my peers and superiors believe I belong in this prestigious group.”

Hernandez’ supervisor, Master Sgt. Amy Whitman-Rector, 340th FTG Financial Analysis Section chief, called him an asset to the 340th FTG, AFRC and Air Force.

“Hernandez is the epitome of hard work, discipline and dedication,” she said. “This is evident in not only the fact that the 340th FTG consistently far exceeds AFRC standards for military pay, but also in the manner in which he carries himself and provides leadership and mentorship to those around him.”

In addition to providing support and leadership to the 340th FTG, Hernandez excelled academically, Whitman-Rector said.

“Hernandez diligently completed Community College of the Air Force course work, Department of Defense financial management certification and Certified Defense Financial Management in minimal time and far ahead of both his peers and leadership,” she said. “He set the training/certification bar for 340th FTG financial management.”

Whitman-Rector also recognized Hernandez for his contributions to the community.

“He devotes hundreds of hours to youth in his community by voluntarily teaching youth investment courses, being a Big Brother and providing leadership and guidance to young Airmen inbound to basic training through his volunteer work with San Antonio United Service Organizations,” she said. “This is all a mere drop in the bucket of everything Hernandez has accomplished or been involved with.”

Among Hernandez’ accomplishments as budget analyst were his designation as a superior performer during the 340th FTG’s compliance evaluation inspection; creating permanent-change-of-station and temporary-duty processes for flight training programs, which expedited $53,000 in pay to students; and developing interagency cross-talk, which resulted in quicker start-pay and mitigated hardships on members. He was also pivotal in the development of bonus pay procedures, helping to eliminate a three-month backlog and reduce processing times by 75 percent.

Hernandez, who grew up in Del Rio, Texas, before moving with his family to Louisville, Ky., attended the University of Louisville for two years and enlisted in the Air Force, serving as a munitions systems specialist.

After separating from the Air Force four years later, he became a U.S. Border Patrol agent while serving with the Air National Guard and later pursued a finance degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2012 and assumed a contracting position at San Antonio Military Medical Center, which led to his present position.

Hernandez, who is married and the father of a three, credited his life experiences, especially honing his communication skills as a Border Patrol agent, with his success as a budget analyst.

“You have to be 100 percent customer service-oriented,” he said. “You have to treat everyone’s pay like it’s your own.”

Hernandez said he was able to provide “a pair of fresh eyes” when he started his present job.

“I saw areas we could improve on,” he said. “We were able to develop a better customer service relationship with our geographically separated units. We also established better timelines for pay document submission with fewer errors.”

Hernandez also credited his success to the colleagues in his office for working together as a team.