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Diamond Spotlight on Master Sgt. Robichaud

Master Sgt. Jeff Robichaud relaxes as he gives an interview about the first sergeant position at the 118 Wing Tennessee Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tenn., Sep. 17, 2017.

Master Sgt. Jeff Robichaud relaxes as he gives an interview about the first sergeant position at the 118 Wing Tennessee Air National Guard Base in Nashville, Tenn., Sep. 17, 2017. Robichaud is the first sergeant for the 118 Security Forces Squadron in Nashville. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Darrell Hamm)

Nashville, Tenn. -- During his enlistment at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana Robichaud was awarded Airman of the Quarter and received an incentive ride in an F-106 Delta Dart.
“I was so near blacking out for the entire 45 minutes it was crazy”, said Robichaud, “But yeah, it was great! I’d do it all over again.”
After four years active duty, Robichaud decided to transition into the Air National Guard. He was received into the 118th Security Forces Squadron in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989, and became a civilian police officer that same year. In 1993 Robichaud ended his military service and for 16 years he lived the civilian life.
“I kind of felt the calling again”, said Robichaud, “9/11 hit, desert storm and everything was going on and I wanted to be a part of it again.”
Robichaud rejoined the Tennessee Air National Guard as a member of Services in December 2009.
“That was great,” said Robichaud, “I loved it over there.”
Robichaud would spend the next six years with the unit. But Robichaud could not deny his roots, and that was with Security Forces.
“I saw an opportunity to become a First Sergeant especially over at Security Forces and I jumped on it because it’s kind of like my home, really.”
Robichaud has been serving as the First Sergeant of the unit since May 2017 and will be attending First Sergeant Academy in February 2018.
Robichaud was drawn to the First Sergeant position due to an internal need.
“I have a sort of instinct of always trying to look out for people”, said Robichaud, “I just wanted to try my hand at something that felt like I could make a difference in a lot of the troops lives, especially the younger troops that are just coming in.”
The sentiment is confirmed by his peers as well.
“He’s a very sharp guy”, said Master Sgt. Jerry Heath, First Sergeant of Logistics Readiness Squadron, “He’s a very genuine guy. He’s very well respected amongst his peers.”
Heath, who served with Robichaud in Security Forces and deployed with him to Bulgaria also sits on the first sergeants council.
“He’s just an overall good person and he’s gonna make a great First Sergeant.”
Robichaud’s message to the younger Airmen is to stay ready always.
“Don’t wait on the opportunities,” said Robichaud, “You’ve got to have your stuff ready before the opportunity arises. That’s promotions, deployments, whatever. Get your CDCs done and get your PME done ahead of time because you never know when the opportunity is gonna arise for you to step into a role and if you don’t have it, it’s on you. Don’t wait for others to tell you to do it.”
For Robichaud, being a First Sergeant means dealing with people, and that part comes easy.
“I’m a hands-on person. I like to get out there, go to different areas in the unit and talk to the people and check on them.”
His biggest challenge, however, is the fine print.
“The paperwork kills me”, said Robichaud jovially, “But that’s a big part of being a First Sergeant is the paperwork and so that’s probably the biggest thing for me to pick up and grasp.”
Even still his main focus remains the people.
“Being a First Sergeant that’s what it’s about. It’s taking care of the troops.”