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
“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
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.