Roberts graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982 and shortly after was stationed at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina and Holloman AFB, New Mexico. He was flight commander of the 614th TFS at Torrejon AB, Spain. While serving there, he deployed for Operation Desert Storm where became a POW. As of 2000 Roberts was squadron Commander of Ohio's 162nd FS in Springfield. In early February 2004, Roberts was named Vice Commander of the 178th FW.