Voices of the VaANG: Master Sgt. Tracie Gates

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham
  • 192nd Wing

“The truth is, y’all would all be naked without me! I am not a formal person...I’m very informal. I’ll be professional, but that’s why I love my job; the relationships. People call me Tracie, and it’s just jokes and having fun that makes work go by. You need that!

It’s hard for me to say what I do, but everything is so customer based and that’s the biggest focus. It’s the customers and that relationship. Other people would be able to give a more accurate picture of what I mean to the VaANG because they know how I help them out. You could say they’re my product. And, who's going to handle getting your deployment gear?

What keeps me here is I’m already dedicated to it and those relationships I have built with the customers. I did that on my own when I started making deliveries—that was never a supply thing. People wouldn’t pick up their stuff, and I was getting mad! I would ask why people wouldn’t pick up their stuff and realized our customer service hours don’t really line up with people who might work on different shifts. Making deliveries is a Tracie thing!

I think the biggest thing is, supply is not a recognized thing. Maintenance is very recognized; you always see maintenance award winners. You always see Security Forces because they deploy a lot. You see intel—you see a lot of people, but supply doesn’t get recognition. My thought is, if I show my face, if I can get my DSGs (drill status Guardsmen) out there delivering, you’ll think of supply, and we’ll be more of a name and a face.

Nothing is ever just one task; things always come up. I have to prioritize the ‘hot’ thing and put out the fires. Right now, I’m all on fire, and we’re going to deal with that. The reward is to see the young Airmen be a part of this [uniform transition] and hopefully, to an extent, get recognized. They came in at a great time when there’s a lot of work to be done. At this point, it’s more about them than it is about me because I want them to know customer service how I know it.

I have a definite place in the VaANG, and I would like my young ones to have those same relationships I’ve built—I want them to carry that on and improve upon it.”
—Master Sgt. Tracie Gates, 192nd Support Squadron material management craftsman