Master Sgt. Tracey Jo Jagger - Air Force 1977-2004
After the Civil War woman were finally accepted as nurses for the fighting force. However, they were often not valued or were considered to be outside their acceptable role if they tried to be soldiers. Harassment, a problem for many women in traditionally male bastions, still existed for 1st Sgt. Tracey Jaeger in 1977. The older guys from the Vietnam era resented her presence on the flight line. The younger guys treated her like a sister… and expected her to hold the flashlight while they repaired the plane. Tracey developed a thick skin and learned to make a quick come-back when faced with raunchy comments. For the first six years of her 27 year Air Force career she took up the extra space in her boots with padding and a second pair of socks until women's sizes of boots were introduced. Attractive maternity uniforms are now available to women soldiers. But during her pregnancy Tracey was issued a smock to cover the fact that she needed to unbutton and unzip her uniform as the months passed..
Eventually Tracey moved into leadership and once again learned how to operate not only as a decision-maker and authority figure, but also as a woman in a non-traditional role.
Tracey was one of the women pioneers in the military who paved the way for women today who want to be part of the defense of their country.
JoAnne P. Miller