‘Bleed Red, White and Blue’: Employee dedicates nearly 60 years to Robins AFB

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson

Team Robins member Patricia Tucker reached a career milestone this year and left a legacy behind. The supply systems analyst in the 78th Air Base Wing Communications Directorate retired after 57 years, 9 months and 28 days at the installation.

Serving nearly six decades at Robins Air Force Base has allowed the Macon, Georgia, native to leave a lasting impact on those both at Robins and in the Department of Defense overall.

“I’m going to miss the activity,” Tucker said. “I talked to people all over the world and held a lot of interesting jobs.”

It all started March 16, 1966, when Tucker was hired at Robins as a clerk typist, using a manual typewriter. After a decade, she transferred to the Directorate of Distribution as the directorate’s financial monitor to handle, control, and produce reports concerning the use of overtime and holiday funds. Then it was on to production controller in central receiving. 

“In that role, I made sure the freight was delivered to the warehouse and handled efficiently and correctly,” she said. “However, I noticed a problem. No one kept track of when the items were received nor the age of the items.”

Tucker suggested to her division chief to implement a color-code system for each day of the week. In doing so, workers could quickly identify the date that material was received into the central receiving area. It’s a method still being used at Robins.

Her next move was to the distribution training office where she became a system analyst. While there she developed a training process for a new automated system called the D035K, which moved all distribution personnel from a total manual process to an automated system using personal computers. 

“D035K provides logistics and maintenance support for assigned weapon systems and assures supply support to the local Depot Maintenance programs and assigned weapon systems,” explained Derek Horton, 78th ABW Legacy Systems branch chief. “It tracks all receipts, shipments for on-base and off-base customers, inventory adjustments and status of transactions processed for local and worldwide customers. It is the only system that communicates with the Defense Logistics Agency’s Central Receiving and storage warehouses at Robins.”

Tucker took her D035K training materials to Air Force Materiel Headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, to compete with five other Air Logistic Centers to get the new D035K System Command Office assigned to their installation. 

Robins won. In 1990, the D035K command office was up and running at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex.

“I am very proud of what I accomplished during my time at Robins,” Tucker said. “I love this country…We have the strongest military, and I just support everything about it.”

Horton said it’s been a blessing to work with Tucker.

“It’s rare that you get to work with someone that has the experience, knowledge and dedication to the mission here that she possesses,” said Horton. “The longevity in her career is a testament to that dedication, and she is truly irreplaceable to us in every sense of the word. She will definitely be missed.”

Tucker may be retired, but being of service remains in her system.

“Once I get settled into my new routine, I will volunteer and help disabled veterans in some way,” she said. “My son would say, if I cut my arm, I’d bleed red, white and blue.

“Four of my six brothers served in the military, as well as cousins too. In all the jobs I’ve held they’ve been in support of the warfighters,” she continued. “I always thought what if that was my family in the trenches. I’d want them to have what they needed as soon as possible. So, I always put my best effort in all I did, because I love this country.”

Editor’s Note: Patricia Tucker became a subject matter expert in 2017 to lead a support team that manages records for assigned personnel and over $17 billion worth of assets stored at Robins Air Force Base. These assets are used for local and worldwide support of Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and other military customers. She held this position until her retirement.