32 years as a 932nd AW Airman

  • Published
  • By Christopher Parr
  • 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

September 2 will mark the day that the 932nd Airlift Wing will officially retire Chief Master Sgt. William R. Treakle, 932nd Maintenance Operations Flight superintendent.

To honor Treakle and his 36 years of service, four active duty and 32 with the 932nd here at Scott Air Force Base, a retirement ceremony was held during the August unit training assembly. 

Family, friends, former 932nd Chiefs and retirees, and Airmen from the 932nd Airlift Wing were in attendance to send Treakle off to the land of free weekends in style. 

Treakle started his military career Dec. 18, 1978 in the delayed enlistment program and was activated July 15, 1979.

“I wanted to learn how jet aircraft worked,” said Treakle about why he joined the Air Force.

With a family legacy of military members, in the United States Army, Treakle first looked to join the Army but was told the Air Force is where he needed to be to learn the ways of jet mechanics.

Treakle started his Air Force career as a crew chief on the CT-39A Saberliner, an 8 passenger, twin-jet engine aircraft, then to a similar jet, the C-140A Jetstar, and then the larger C-9A.  While working in the 932nd Airlift Wing as an air reserve technician, Treakle was a flight mechanic on the C-9A supporting the aeromedical evacuation mission.  Treakle worked on a few different C-9As during his time at Scott AFB.  He had the honor to work on tail number 67-22584, the first C-9A modified for the unique medical mission and tail number 71-0877, which is now currently retired and on display at the Scott Field Heritage Air Park, just outside the front gate of Scott Air Force Base.

“A challenge I faced during my career that stands out was the change over from the air evacuation mission of the C-9A to the distinguished visitor mission, with three of the older C-9As while waiting for the C-9C to arrive, “ said Treakle.  “I certainly didn’t face the challenge alone. I give credit to the determination and professionalism of the 932nd workforce who adapted and overcame the challenge.”

Treakle’s last position with the 932nd MXO was that of the MXO superintendent.  He served as a key leader at all levels while providing guidance and management to prepare the enlisted force to best execute the mission.

Treakle had some advice to young Airmen:

“Pick a career that interests you and seem to pick up rather quickly.  Whether it is mechanics, medical, administration, doesn’t matter, just don’t stop learning or expanding your career field knowledge, “ said Treakle.  “Always remember to work as a team and this, your career choice, is your dream or inspiration, make the most of it and always enjoy the fact your are accomplishing it.”

Treakle as been asked numerous times as his retirement date nears, what plans he has for his free weekends.

“Some ask how I picked my career and I always say that I did plan events in my life but the career just happened, “said Treakle. “I expect my retirement will be no different, but I won’t miss an event because of a work schedule.”

“I will miss the people of the 932nd which has always been family oriented,” said Treakle.