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Brandi Roblez: Woman of Character, Courage and Commitment

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Brandi Roblez, 97th Maintenance Directorate workforce analyst and personnel liaison, stands in her office March 12, 2014. Roblez has worked for the 97th for 13 years and was the first female student to graduate from the local Grow-Your-Own program for maintenance professionals here in Altus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon Davis/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Brandi Roblez, 97th Maintenance Directorate workforce analyst and personnel liaison, stands in her office March 12, 2014. Roblez has worked for the 97th for 13 years and was the first female student to graduate from the local Grow-Your-Own program for maintenance professionals here in Altus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon Davis/Released)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --  Brandi Roblez has worked at Altus AFB for 13 years and has climbed the management ladder in a predominately male maintenance career field using her positive attitude and hard work ethic.

Roblezs challenges and perseverance truly show her as a woman of character, courage and commitment.

"My role models growing up were my parents," said Roblez, 97th Maintenance Directorate workforce analyst and personnel liaison. "They are the model parents. They have an exceptional work ethic, so seeing that growing up really engrained in me that anything is possible through hard work."

"My father is a retired crop duster, so I grew up around aviation," said Roblez. "I worked with him every summer to help keep up runways, sweep hangars and wash airplanes. At a very young age, I learned how to work hard and enjoyed the gratification that came along with it."

"My mom was also a big part of that," said Roblez. "She would work two or three manual labor jobs in addition to maintaining the family business. It taught me that, just because you're a female, it doesn't mean you aren't capable of doing anything."

"And as a girl growing into a young woman, I think seeing my parents' hard work paying off was very instrumental in building my confidence and me feeling as though I can tackle any challenge and excel at it," said Roblez.

The hard work ethic and determination instilled in Roblez helped find her future career at Altus AFB.

"I was born and raised here, graduated from Blair High School, attended the Grow-Your-Own program at the Southwest Technology Center and received my certificate in Aerospace Maintenance in 2001," said Roblez. "I went on to attend Western Oklahoma State College where I got my associate degree."

"When I was in the Grow-Your-Own program, I worked really hard to make sure that I studied and made the grades. I ended up graduating valedictorian of the class," said Roblez. "It was challenging for me; when I was going through the program I was the first female to graduate from the program and I felt there were a lot of expectations. I think the added pressure helped keep me focused on the end goal and I didn't want to be put in a different category because I was a female."

Roblez went into the aircraft maintenance career field knowing that if she was going to succeed, she would have to overcome the expectations put on her as a woman and prove that she was just as capable as any man doing the job.

"When I first started here at Altus AFB, I was one of very few females in a male dominated work force and I felt I had to prove I was just as hard of a worker as the rest of them," said Roblez. "I didn't try to brag or boast about my abilities as a mechanic, but rather come in everyday and show them I was an excellent worker."

"I started in aircraft maintenance as a mechanic in the inspection dock. During that time, I served details in the safety office and worked with VPP and Environmental," said Roblez.

"Then, about three years ago, I had the opportunity to be the executive officer for Jim Kelly, 97th MX director of maintenance, so I jumped at the opportunity and spent some time in the front office and got to work closely with our leaders and was fortunately selected to become the personnel liaison starting this year," said Roblez.

"I like change, moving around and learning about the organization," said Roblez. "I find myself on top of my game and stay motivated when I get to be involved in a little bit of everything. I like that I started on the ground floor and I've gotten to see different areas of leadership and management. I have no idea where it's going to take me from here, I just have to stay motivated and follow my ambitions."

Over the course of her career, Roblez has set the tone as a woman working in the 97th and has overcome many obstacles.

"Sometimes people say that it's got to be hard being a woman in maintenance," said Roblez. "Yeah, it presents its challenges, but my attitude and work ethic has served me well in all atmospheres. I saw this opportunity and I took advantage of it with maturity and professionalism."

The challenge of having a family and raising children is just another hurdle that Roblez has surmounted.

"One of the biggest challenges I had to face, to get to the point where I am today, would be balancing my time between my husband, kids, school and work," said Roblez. "It can be difficult and challenging because you want to spend a lot of time with your family, but you're tasked to be at work and school can take up most of your off time. It's hard, but doable with the right kind of support."

"I went on to receive my Bachelor's in Nutrition Science while working here," said Roblez. "It has always been a passion of mine and I wanted to study something I would really enjoy. I had a lot of long nights, but I graduated summa cum laude. I am currently enrolled at Oklahoma University and working towards my Masters in Administrative Leadership. If it wasn't for the support of my spouse, Freddy Roblez, this would be very difficult to do on my own."

Roblez has seen and experienced much in her career, and she was willing to offer advice for others who want to have to succeed.

"Don't be intimidated by going into a male-dominated career field," said Roblez. "I think you have to be professional and set the standard for your environment. You can fall into the stereotype or you can come to work and set the bar and be professional regardless of gender."

"You can't climb the ladder to success with your hands in your pocket," said Roblez. "You have to work hard and cannot be afraid to get your hands dirty. Always let your work ethic speak for itself and your abilities."