Women’s History: Senior Master Sgt. Tanitra K. Lee

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JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – March is Women’s History Month, a time to commemorate and celebrate the vital role of women in American history. We invited women within the #IAMIMSC team to tell us a little about themselves and their views on the importance of Women’s History Month. 

Meet Senior Master Sgt. Tanitra Lee, operations force development manager in the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Operations Directorate at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. 

Lee, who has been in the Air Force for about 21 years, contributes to the Air Force’s lethality and readiness by “managing the range and development of the 3E6 – operations manager– career field for active-duty, Guard and Reserve members … I feel like training is an important part of making sure Airmen are lethal and ready.”

Here’s more from Lee:

Why do you feel we need a Women’s History Month?
So that we never forget the contributions and the sacrifices women have made over the years. Women have stood up for so many things in the past and people often forget that. Having a Women’s History Month brings those things to the forefront so we never forget. 

Tell us about a female coworker or friend you admire?
There are many but Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster was my previous command chief when I was at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and she always presented herself in such a positive way … she was always happy and gave me so many tips and pointers. When I was having a bad day, she was always there to support me and that’s what we need a lot of times. The support makes a huge difference. We need to understand as women, we’re not competing against each other. We can support each other to help us all get to where we need to be.

Who do you see as a good historic female role model and why?
A few years ago, there was a movie called, “Hidden Figures.” Before that movie, I didn’t know anything about Catherine Johnson who did hand calculations which helped launched John Glenn in to orbit in 1962. I think it’s really important to highlight (women like Johnson) because no one would have ever known about her work. She had a brilliant mind.

What would you say to a little girl in elementary school about what she can achieve as an adult?
You can achieve anything that you put your mind to. Break every glass ceiling out there because it is possible. 

If you could have a conversation with your 6-year-old self, what would you tell her?
I’m from Palm Beach County, Florida, and I’m the first one in my family to go in to the military … it shocked everybody and it even shocked myself. I would tell 6-year-old Tanitra, “You are amazing, you will do amazing things and always remember to stay focused and keep God first in everything you do.” 

Anything else you'd like to add?
I don’t know when it started but I’m glad that it did. I think we’ve contributed a lot throughout the history of the world and that needs to be highlighted. I want little girls and women everywhere to know that they are capable of doing anything that they set their minds to.