Episode 18: Tim Wobig


“You don’t have to do everything by the norm. You take your own path, whatever works for you,” Tim Wobig shares with a contemplative smile. “And that’s kind of what I had to figure out.”

A Commander in the California Army National Guard, Major Tim Wobig carved his own trail beginning with an impulsive enlistment in the Marine Corps and turning his decision into a celebrated military career.

Like a lot of young adults, Tim didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do with his life after high school, admitting he didn’t want to go to school or straight into a job.

“I was just lazy,” Tim laughs. “But a Marine Corps commercial came on. A guy has on his dress blues, he’s slaying dragons with a sword, and I was like, ‘I can do that.’ So, as soon as the commercial was over, I got up, went down to the recruiting office, and signed up…I left two weeks later. That was in 1998. A couple decades later, I’m still wearing camouflage.”

Tim is now a Deputy Commander for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion in Southern California. He’s responsible for approximately 135 soldiers, helping maintain the infrastructure and training soldiers for the California Army National Guard.

“In 1998, I was that kid standing on the yellow footprints, and now…I’m one of their commanders,” Tim says, a measure of awe in his voice. “Even to this day, teaching kids how to work as a team gives you a broader perspective on the value of life. You’re placing your life in someone else’s hands and he or she is placing theirs in yours. It’s a bigger endeavor than most people are used to.”

Tim goes on to explain. “In hindsight, that’s what you signed up for. You wanted to figure out what you’re made of… And if I can help mold these [young soldiers], if I can help them understand that what they’re doing is for a greater good, a lot of them are willing to take on that challenge.”

When you’re in the military, however, the challenges don’t end with combat or deployment. There are challenges and sacrifices to be made at home as well.

“Leaving your wife behind and saying, ‘Okay, I’ve got to go do my job’—that’s still hard because she’s left with all the responsibility,” Tim tells us from the kitchen of his Southern California home, his wife Katie and twin son and daughter playing nearby. “That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. My job isn’t the hard one; she has the hard job.”

In addition to preparing his soldiers for the unknowns and dangers of deployment, Tim has taken on an additional role: helping those under his command find their own individual paths through life.

“If I can help them find that, then that’s what I’m going to do,” he says, quietly determined.

In addition to providing leadership within the National Guard, Tim also discusses leadership qualities with members of the community, including TravisMathew CEO Ryan Ellis.

“I gave Tim a call and asked him if we could sit down and discuss his leadership style,” Ryan explains. “He’s such a humble person. The sacrifice he’s made for our country and for us, and to think about all he’s been through…it’s pretty incredible.”

Having a career in the military is something that many can’t imagine—the discipline, the sacrifice, the commitment. Tim has laid down a “normal” life in favor of defending our liberties.

“I try really hard not to take so many things for granted. Just knowing what we have [in the United States] is far greater than what somebody else has,” Tim expresses. “We have so many freedoms and so many liberties, and people don’t really know what it takes to get to this point. What we have is for the greater good, I think sometimes we lose sight of that. It’s not just a job, you have a greater effect than what you can possibly fathom.”

To the men and women who have served or who are currently serving in the military, to those who have family serving, and to all who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country…we at TravisMathew honor you with heartfelt appreciation.