Col. Jacquelyn Marty retires after 32 years

  • Published
  • By 349th Air Mobility Wing staff
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing

    Col. Jacquelyn Marty, 349th Air Mobility Wing vice commander, retired June 4, 2022 after three decades of service. Marty’s Air Force career ended at the very place it began. Her first assignment was here at Travis in 1994, when she assisted with the stand up of the 9th Air Refueling Squadron.

     Marty credits phenomenal leaders and tireless Airmen that supported her throughout her career as the constant thrust that propelled her toward success. She thanked her family and friends for their unwavering faith and support at the ceremony.

     “It’s really hard to capture the totality of her career against the events of history and in the Air Force itself,” said presiding officer Brig. Gen. Michele Kilgore, military deputy director of concepts and strategy, Air Force Futures, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington D.C. The general noted how much the Air Force had changed over the course of Marty’s service.

     “In the 1980s, women only made up about 10% of the force,” said Kilgore. “Today, we are proud to represent female officers who now make up 23% of today’s Air Force,” she said. “Women serve in every job from fighter pilot, to combatant commander, to four-star general,” she said.

     Prior to the ceremony, Marty reflected on her career.

     “It has been an amazing journey over these past 32 years. I have far exceeded my goals as an O-6. This has been the highlight of my career, and I am excited to leave on a high note.”

     Marty added that as a senior leader, it was important for her to encourage and inspire others moving up through the ranks as Reserve Citizen Airmen.

     “I have a passion for mentoring others, and I think because of my experiences, I became a compassionate commander. Sometimes we may not trust our instincts or we may need someone to draw that information out of us and ultimately narrow it down to get to the choice that is going to work for you.”

     During her career, Marty experienced her share of highs and lows. One life event that challenged her resiliency occurred in the fall of 1996 as she was driving to a military function with her 5-year-old son.

     The last thing she remembers is turning a corner and seeing a large truck in her rear view mirror. It was estimated that the truck slammed into her car at 75 mph. The truck’s driver had been texting while driving.

     Amazingly, her son was uninjured in the collision and was able to unlock her phone, find her husband’s name, and make contact.

Marty said that after the accident she could not remember much over the next six to eight months.

     “Here I was, a highly over achieving member of the military. I was a mother, wife, daughter and sister. Yet, I could barely get out of bed in the morning and brush my teeth; and doing just that was a big win for me,” she said.

     One year after the accident, she was removed from flying status by the Air Force and advised to separate, except she wasn’t ready for her Air Force Reserve journey to end.

     “I fought hard. I opted in for experimental hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injuries. It was tremendous and everything was back to normal,” she recalled. “I proved I was fit to serve.”

     Later, Marty accepted a command position with the 713th Combat Operations Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, California, and held that position for two years prior to accepting the position as vice commander of the 349th AMW.

     Col. Lee Merkle, 349th AMW commander, presented Marty with a shadow box from the wing during the retirement ceremony.

     “The Air Force, Travis Air Force Base, the Airmen of the 349th are much better off today because of your contributions and service,” said Merkle.
In her closing comments, Marty offered words of encouragement for the Airmen who will follow her example.

     “I feel if we mentor our Airmen along the way, and train our replacements along the way, as well, it makes for a smooth transition and it gives our Airmen the confidence to step up when we ask them to. Keep your eye out for other leaders and encourage them along.”

     During her career, Marty earned the rating of command pilot, logging more than 4,500 flight hours with 575 combat hours. She volunteered and flew 18 deployments and piloted nine different Air Force aircraft, including the KC-135A, B-52H, and KC-10A.

     Col. Terence A. McGee is the incoming 349th AMW vice commander. He is currently the commander of the 954th Reserve Support Squadron, Air Force Element Joint Transportation Reserve Unit, United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.