Spotlight

Photo of Robbie RuizRobbie Ruiz
Sacramento State Student

On September 11, 2001 Robbie was a high school senior in Ukiah, California. He watched the twin towers fall from a terrorist attack on live TV during one of his classes. He graduated high school that following spring with a strong desire to serve his country. March 10, 2003, he joined the United States Marine Corps. at the age of 19.

In October of 2003, he joined his first duty station at Search and Rescue Beaufort, South Carolina At Head Quarters and Head Quarters on Marine Corps. Air Station Beaufort; he was the last CH-46D mechanic to had join the squadron. For the next two years, he was the most utilized mechanic out of Flightline contributing 1,113.1 hours of maintenance hours in his first year. He also volunteered in S.A.R. “X”s or exercises in order to help the flight crew train for mission readiness. Eventually, he would become one of last crewmembers that would close the squadron before being sent out to a deploying unit across the country.

On August 1, 2005, he joined HMM-166 at Miramar Marine Corps. Air Station as a Ch-46E Mechanic, and deployed with them, a couple of months later, overseas in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The squadron’s main mission was to transport cargo and personnel back and forth to Iraq while providing air support if needed.

During his time with Hmm-166, he was apart of Phase Crew for a total of two years, which is equivalent to an overhaul shop. This meant removing and replacing all vital components of the aircraft if they are not deemed working condition for the safety of aircrew or success of the mission. He would deploy twice with Hmm-166 on two different Aircraft carriers, the USS Peleliu and USS Tarawa; between deployments, he would be fortunate to have earned his certification as one of the first Rifle Range Combat Coaches at the Miramar Rifle Range. In his second tour, from December 4 to 6, 2007 as part of the 11th MEU, he was on one of 29 flights to deliver humanitarian assistance missions over Bangladesh to transport food and supplies and thousands gallons of water to the people most affected by Tropical Cyclone Sidr.

Robbie was honorably discharged from Active duty in August of 2008, and a few months later he and his wife moved to Sacramento, California. After relocating to Sacramento, he began attending classes at Sacramento City College where he completed a certificate/license for mechanics and completed General education courses. Finally, in the fall of 2014, he transferred to Sacramento State University. Currently he is a senior with a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing – Supply Chain Management. Robbie has been instrumental in establish a Veterans Fraternity at Sacramento State. He plans to graduate in the Spring of 2016.