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Airman’s return to active duty fills need to serve country

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Trisler is the current executive for the 55th Wing command chief at Offutt AFB. Trisler recently re-enlisted in the active duty Air Force after a stint in the Air National Guard.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Trisler is the current executive for the 55th Wing command chief at Offutt AFB. Trisler recently re-enlisted in the active duty Air Force after a stint in the Air National Guard. (Air Force Photo by D.P. Heard)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb --

In 1997, a young man enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After basic and technical training and was stationed here. However, after achieving the rank of staff sergeant, he began to miss his family and decided he wanted to move closer to them.

Since he couldn't get orders to that area, the Airman began researching how he could earn a good living as a civilian. In 2005, though he was eligible for technical sergeant, but felt it was time to move on and he decided to separate from active duty and finally moved closer to his family.

Daniel Trisler did a variety of jobs and made good money in Virginia Beach, however, the pace on the East Coast was much faster than the Midwest. While working there, he began to realize he wanted something more. He wanted something he had experienced as an active-duty Airman,

"I missed feeling like what I did on a daily basis mattered," said Trisler. He constantly compared his time in the military to his time working in Virginia Beach, and it didn't feel as rewarding.

Reluctantly, he felt like Virginia Beach was not the place he and his family wanted to be, so they moved back to the Omaha area.

Since re-entering active duty can be challenging, due to the limited number of slots available to prior service members, Trisler joined the Air National Guard in 2008, knowing there were no active duty positions open.

When a position finally opened, Trisler attended the Air Force recruiting school where he was a top graduate. Even though it was a challenging job, he still felt that something was missing. He was making a difference in people's lives, but it still did not compare to the work he did on active duty all those years ago. Fortunately, his experience as an Airman and young NCO were beneficial when speaking with people who were eager the join the military.

His old maintenance office here, had a position come available, so he took it. Soon, he was working on the same planes, and with some of the same people from before he separated from active duty. Still, it did not feel exactly like active duty.

While Trisler was working in maintenance, his supervisor suggested that he interview for the position of the command chief master sergeant executive. Trisler was hired by Command Chief Master Sgt. Brian Thomas, 55th Wing command chief and subsequently reenlisted.

He thinks the lengths Thomas goes to in helping Team Offutt is unparalleled. He believes most people here do not see how much Thomas does behind the scenes.

“He's an inspiring man to work for," Trisler said.

As the executive for the wing command chief, Trisler finds the job very challenging and enjoys working alongside Thomas.

“It takes an immense amount of dedication and persistence to battle your way back onto active duty, and Trisler’s story should be an example to Airmen who wish to return to active duty; that it’s possible,” said Thomas. “It could can also be used to gauge just how ready Airmen are to separate, especially if they have the option of continued service to our great nation and the U.S. Air Force.”