Ohio native retires from Air Force in Phoenix after 26 year career

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Bolken
  • 944th Fighter Wing
After 26 years of service, Col. Robert R. Tofil retired from the Air Force on Jan. 11 during a ceremony here.

Tofil retired as the vice commander of the 944th Fighter Wing, a position he has held since June of 2017. The vice commander role directly supports the 944th FW commander, Col. Bryan E. Cook .
“We grew up here and the majority of our time has been here at Luke,” said Tofil.

Tofil, an Ohio native, began his career by attending the Air Force Academy in 1993, before becoming a fighter pilot with more than 2,600 flight hours throughout his career. Tofil’s first stint at Luke was as a student in 1995, but he returned here multiple times throughout his career, and it is where his family considers home.

Cook said he and Tofil had several conversations leading to this bittersweet day.

“Although this decision to retire is difficult, it is the right decision for him and his family,” said Cook. “He epitomizes integrity, service before self, and excellence in everything he does.”

Cook said he will miss the friendship and support he has received from Tofil during their time together.

“He takes on all challenges with a smile and a humble, calm demeanor,” said Cook. “The Air Force is losing somebody pretty special today.”

Family, friends, and fellow Airmen were in attendance at the afternoon ceremony. Tofil expressed his gratitude for their support.

“The Air Force is like a family, and it is all about accomplishing the bigger objective together,” said Tofil. “Looking ahead, I cannot wait to spend more time with my family, cook more meals, and play some more golf.”