January 10, 2005

Ground breaking Air Guard NCO retires


Master Sgt. Gerald Golden makes a presentation to Senior Master Sgt. Dorothy M. Tatem at her retirement ceremony. (Photo courtesy 192nd Fighter Wing)

By Master Sgt. Peter Martens
192nd Fighter Wing Historian

Senior Master Sgt. Dorothy M. Tatem, the Stock Fund Manager in the 192nd Logistic Readiness Squadron, has retired after 30 years of exemplary service with the Air National Guard. Tatem is recognized for her accomplishments and for being the first black female to enter the unit in November 1973. She also became the first female member to receive full time technician status in the Virginia National Guard the following year in June 1974.

Originally from Elizabeth City, N.C., Tatem moved to Richmond after completing college in Columbia S.C. After working one year with the Bank of Virginia, she answered a classified ad in the paper about the part time job in the Virginia Air National Guard. She had always wanted to join the Air Force and this was the next thing to it. Her first duty assignment was as a traditional guardsman with the Accounting and Finance department.

Her most memorable time in the unit was working with Brig. Gen. Wilbur Rose, 192nd Tactical Fighter Group Commander and Col Basil Evans, 192nd Mission Support Commander who helped give her support needed to organize the first “Flight of the African American Guardsmen of VaANG” Banquet during Black History Month, February 1991. That event was most special to her as it was dedicated to our unit’s first black airman, Master Sgt. John ‘Pop’ Lewis.

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