Portrait of a Professional: July 2011

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Portrait of a Professional is a monthly profile of an outstanding Staff Sergeant or below. Staff Sgt. Fernando Borrego, food service manager assigned to the 129th Services Flight, is featured in this month's Portrait of a Professional.

What is your favorite memory in the Air Force?

My favorite moment in the Air Force came last year during the Monday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints. I got to be part of the honor guard opening and halftime ceremonies at the game. The opening ceremonies involved unveiling the U.S. Flag that spanned over 60 yards while Boyz II Men sang the National Anthem. The half-time ceremony included a jersey retirement ceremony for my favorite player of all time and idol, Jerry Rice. All the 49er greats were on the field as well, including to include Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott. My job was simply to hold a banner with Jerry Rice's picture on it. I grew up a diehard 49er fan idolizing all the players that I got to share the field with that day. The ceremonies included fireworks, a chance to be on national television and a great atmosphere with all the fans going crazy. Not only was that my favorite memory in the Air Force but also one of my favorite memories ever.

What motivated you to enlist in the Air Force?

I joined the Air Force simply because I wasn't content with how my life was going at the time. I had a low paying construction job as a window installer. I was procrastinating with school and just needed some sort of excitement. My sister asked me, "have you ever heard of the Air National Guard?" She had been commuting with Maj. Trillo, since retired, who told her about it. It was my first time hearing about the Guard and I figured it wouldn't hurt to look into it. After speaking with one of our former recruiters, Master Sgt. Rivas, I was sold and headed to boot camp three months later. I was sold on the Guard knowing that I had the freedom to still choose where I lived, would obtain assistance for school, could travel and open doors for myself that would have been closed otherwise. It was a choice I'm happy about and would do it all over again if I had the chance.

How has being an Airman changed your outlook on life?

Being an Airman has opened my eyes a lot. If I reverse my decision to join eight years ago, I could easily see me as a person learning about the world through the news instead of my own eyes. My outlook on life would be one that it revolved solely around California. My outlook now, thanks to the Air Force, is that there is always more. There is always another cause to assist with, or a friend/airman who could use your help. Wearing this uniform allows you those privileges for helping others . Being in the military has given me the opportunity to fight fires for California, build sewage systems along the border of California and Mexico, work ceremonies honoring previous Medal of Honor recipients, participate in Fallen Warrior ceremonies and, get others recruited into the Air Force. I even had two close friends of mine hired on as civilian contractors overseas. The common theme here is that they all involved helping others. Without the Air Force, I would not have that ability.

What's the most important lesson you've learned in the military?

The most important lesson I've learned in the Air Force is to never be content. Excellence in all we do involves pushing yourself, whether it's physically, mentally or spiritually.

If you could deploy anywhere in the world, where would you go?

If I could deploy anywhere in the world it would definitely have to be Italy. I'm half Italian so wanting to go there kind of comes with the territory.

If you could choose any Air Force job, which would it be? Why?

If I could choose any other job in the Air Force to do it would definitely have to be Pararescue. Those guys epitomize what it means to be physically and mentally tough. I also think that there isn't a more rewarding job than that of a Pararescueman. To be hands on with saving a life, while risking your own has to carry gratification, equaled to very few jobs in this world.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in San Jose then moved to Los Banos with my family for the duration of junior high and high school. I had a great time there, but once high school was over I moved back to San Jose, realizing how much I missed the big city.

What is your job in the civilian world?

I am currently an assistant manager at Le Boulanger bakery and café.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am more comfortable sleeping on a couch then a bed. Not sure why, but I just am.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include anything to do with sports. I also love to hike. I plan to conquer Half Dome in Yosemite National Park again this year. I've been steadily learning how to be a disc jockey in hopes to someday become a party starter. It's also a must for me to attend as many sporting events as possible in support of my Bay Area teams.