BORN & RAISED IN THE 28th
Wes is a fourth generation Southern Californian born in Arcadia and raised in Glendora and is the youngest of three sons. His dad was a salesman whose territory was the western United States, and the family’s summer vacation was to jump into the ’73 Ford Maverick and join their father.
On one of these trips, the summer Wes was 9 years old, they found themselves in Colorado Springs, Colorado and visited the United States Air Force Academy. Seeing a fighter jet at each corner of the quad and hearing the tour guide say one had to be the best student, athlete, and leader to attend the Academy, he told his mom that day the United States Air Force Academy was where he was going to go for college.
Wes and his brothers were raised on a diet of love, hard work, and American values. All three boys attended Glendora’s public schools and were very involved in the community. Though each tried multiple sports, the family sport was swimming. Wes graduated near the top of his class at Glendora High School and was both the Captain of the Swim Team and Drum Major of the award-winning Glendora Tartans Marching Band. He competed for and received a nomination to the Air Force Academy from Congressman David Dreier and entered the Academy the following year.
At the Academy, Wes was a walk-on to the intercollegiate Men’s Swim Team later breaking all the Academy’s breaststroke records and voted by his teammates as Swim Team Captain his senior year. He was on the Dean's, Commandant's, and Superintendent's Lists for academic, military, and athletic achievement through is time as a cadet and was awarded Outstanding Graduate for being one of the Top 10 athletes in his class and was a “Blue Chip” Graduate finishing in the top 15% of graduates overall.
Following his graduation and commissioning as an Air Force Second Lieutenant, Wes went to pilot training in Arizona where he qualified for fighter jets. Due to defense cuts following the first Gulf War, he went from pilot training to the Ohio State University getting his first of four post-graduate degrees. It was there he met his now wife of 27 years, Silvana Rubino, at the time an American University PhD student from Uruguay, South America.
28 YEARS OF SERVICE & COUNTING
After Ohio State, Wes served an internship in the Pentagon working international security issues and then went on to fly Air Force Fighters. Wes went on to serve 27 years in the Air Force in several flying and staff positions including commanding a squadron in Japan and a fighter group in Florida.
He is a Command Pilot with 1985 hours in the T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15A/B/C/D, and F-22A and has over 150 hours of combat time in support of Operations Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, and Northern Watch.
He first flew the F-15C, the most celebrated and successful air-to-air fighter in history. After training in Florida, he was part of the storied 94th Fighter Squadron whose roots go back to the Eddie Rickenbacker’s 94th Aero Squadron of World War I. He did four combat deployments to the Middle East in less than three years in support of Operations Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, and Northern Watch, the last deployment coming only ten days after his first daughter, Camilla, was born.
Wes then served as an F-15C instructor pilot at the school in Florida, where Wes and Silvana had their second daughter, Alessandra.
He was later was assigned to Okinawa, Japan where he was given squadron command of the Kadena Air Base's 300-member strong Operations Support Squadron where he was rated as the base's best squadron commander both years of his command. While Commander, the squadron welcomed 51 new babies to its many member families, and Wes and Silvana led from the front with the arrival of their third daughter, Isabella.
After serving overseas, Wes returned to Florida's Tyndall AFB, where he served in his last flying assignment as the 325th Operations Group Commander. He flew the F15C and the F-22, the most advanced and capable fighter in history, running the F-15C, F-22, and Air Battle Manager schools that produce the Airmen who ensure the US Air Force maintains its sacred promise to own the skies against any adversary--a promise kept since 1953.
Wes also served in a variety of staff positions. In 2004, Wes was one of 12 Americans selected as a White House Fellow, serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture and working at the highest levels of the Executive Branch. He has also led a staff of over 2,000 as Chief of Staff for the Air Force’s forward headquarters in the Middle East and Central Asia. He came back to the Pentagon serving in the Joint Staff’s strategic plans and policy directorate.
His last assignment was as the Chief Air Force Liaison to the House of Representatives advising the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on engagements with Congress and working directly with members of the House of Representatives and their offices on Air Force and national security matters and retired in 2017.
Before rededicating himself to public service, Wes was the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy of a non-profit organization dedicated to a strong national defense and a vibrant defense industrial base providing the best capabilities and services to our men and women in uniform.