128 Years of Family Serving Family: Robin Boylan, USAG Stuttgart

FamilyServingFamily_RobinBoylan

One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 128 years of family serving family.

Who he is: Robin Boylan, Panzer main store manager, USAG Stuttgart

Years with the Exchange: 31 years

What brought him to the Exchange: Boylan began his Exchange career after high school. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do coming out of school. I learned that I could get a job at the Exchange and foster a connection with the military community.”

What he did at first: Boylan began as a food service worker in the Schweinfurt Burger King in March 1992. Three years later, he transitioned to retail, working at the Schweinfurt Express as a sales associate and later a warehouse worker. Between 2000 and 2002, Boylan worked in the Wuerzburg Consolidated Exchange main store.

From August 2002 to December 2003, Boylan served on a one-person, temporary-duty assignment on Istres-Le Tubé Air Base, France, as a store manager.  He soon after joined the Exchange team on RAF Lakenheath, in the United Kingdom, as a sales area manager from 2003 to 2005, and a stockroom manager from 2005 to 2006. In September 2005, Boylan deployed for one year to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, as a store manager. Between 2006 and 2014, Boylan worked in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, and Kaiserslautern Military Community Center, Germany, as a sales and merchandise manager.

Beginning March 2014, Robin Boylan spent a year as general manager in Afghanistan. In this photo, Boylan prepares to board a helicopter on a mission to set up a “rodeo” (a small temporary Exchange) at a remote location.

Boylan deployed again in March 2014 as a general manager to Afghanistan, where he remained for a year. Moving to Europe region headquarters in Sembach, Germany, Boylan served as a region retail programs specialist in February 2015 until July 2017. In 2017, he became the general manager of the Spangdahlem and Benelux Exchange in Germany. In August 2019, he moved to Maryland’s Fort Meade Exchange, where he served as a general manager until September 2022.

Military connection: Boylan’s father served in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Exchange connection: Boylan’s mother worked for the Exchange at a car care center as an administrative assistant in Schweinfurt.

Memorable moment: “During my first deployment, there was a big troop surge in 2007 going into Iraq, and many of those troops came through Camp Arifjan. It was very humbling to see these young troops on their way to an active combat zone, yet being so grateful for the small comforts of home we were able to provide at our store. Another great experience for me was to lead such a diverse group of associates.

“During most of that deployment I was the only US Exchange associate among a team of roughly 50 from faraway places such as Bosnia, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Eritrea and Sri Lanka. To be part of this multinational and multicultural team, all working together to serve our service members going into harm’s way, was an amazing experience and gave me a much deeper appreciation of what ‘family serving family’ truly means.

“Another memory is when I was on Istres-Le Tubé Air Base, I felt really embedded with the service members. Their presence was required in the area to enforce a no-fly zone over Bosnia. The service members I worked with once took me on a refueling mission flight, servicing the jets over Bosnia. Deployment is an amazing experience! It’s something I suggest anyone working for the Exchange try at least once.”

Robin Boylan aboard a helicopter in Afghanistan, on one of many flights to visit stores in his area of responsibility as Afghanistan general manager in 2014-’15.

Family serving family: “I grew up around the military. The Exchange gave me an opportunity to serve the military community. It’s awesome to serve a greater meaning and to have a great career. I was also able to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Exchange Tuition Assistance Program. Rising through the ranks has given me a unique perspective and appreciation for what our team members do every day serving those who serve. It is absolutely possible to have a successful career with the Exchange. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

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1 Comments

  1. Lili Gilbert on May 29, 2024 at 7:34 am

    I think I remembered this picture. We were going on a rodeo to take some merchandises to some needed soldiers and contractors. It was during Thanksgiving Time. It was me you and Joe, such great experience. We used bunk beds to organize merchandises, I enjoyed every minute of it. One Team, One Fight, Lili Gilbert, Arsenal, AL

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