Build Your Legacy: Trainee Tracy Dang

  • Published
  • By 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
  • 307th Bomb Wing

This is the fifth installment in the Build Your Legacy series, where we sit down with enlisted recruits to find out who and what influenced them to join the Air Force Reserves. The series is designed to help those currently serving and veterans to better understand what potential recruits want to know about life in the Air Force Reserve.

A compelling story of service and legacy led Tracy Dang, a first-generation Asian American, to raise her right hand and commit to the United States Air Force Reserve. Although Dang was born in Dallas, Texas, her family roots are firmly planted in Vietnam.

Born to a family that immigrated from Vietnam after the conflict there, Dang’s family line paints an ideal image of dedication and sacrifice. Coming from a large family, she is proud that most of her relatives fought side-by-side with the United States. After the conflict, they searched for a better life in America, leading to Dang becoming the first to serve in the United States military.

She will continue her family’s legacy of service to the country by beginning her career in munitions systems for the 307th Bomb Wing and is scheduled to ship to Air Force Basic Military Training this January. Before heading to San Antonio, Dang shared who inspired her and why she decided to enlist.



Q. What persons influenced you most to join the military?

A. Two people influenced me the most to join the military. One of them being my grandfather. When he found out I was joining the military, he was very proud of me due to the fact that he fought alongside the United States in the Vietnam War. The second person who influenced me to join was my sergeant in middle school when I was in the Junior Cadet Corps. I was taught how to right face, left face, about face, parade rest, and I loved it.


Q. How did your family impact your desire to join the military?

A. My grandfather and grandmother on my mom’s side have twelve kids, and on my dad’s side, they have ten…. and about half of them joined the Vietnam War. It was a devastating time for everybody and that is also why my parents immigrated here because of everything that happened after the Vietnam War. It was catastrophic, but it was necessary to allow me to have an amazing life and to be where I am today… fighting for them, fighting for our freedom, and being able to provide service to all Americans, no matter how big or how little the job is. My grandfather has done so much for his country, and I just want to do the same for my own...

Q. Was there any specific moment during your time in the Junior Cadet Core that made you think you wanted to enlist?

A. In middle school, I had an amazing sergeant named Sgt. Harold, who was a Junior Cadet Corp Officer. My values in life were always to respect others and to … have discipline within myself, and he taught me everything about that. He helped guide my way to the military… and showed me the steps and that I can lead this group of people. All those little memories that I have of him teaching me are some of the reasons I joined the military. I joined in middle school to dip my feet in and I loved it… and now I love it even more.

Q. What advice would you give to a veteran regarding telling their story to potential recruits?

A. If I were to go back to the moment I met my recruiter I wish I would have known to be confident in myself and speak up for myself. The military will help you in so many ways if you just ask. Ask all the questions. My biggest regret is not asking every single question that I could because I was scared.

Q. What advice would you give someone considering joining the Air Force Reserve?

A. The military has a big stigma of being scary. Everybody has been so kind, and everybody respects everybody. We are all here to work, and that is our one mission and our one goal. So, there is nothing to be really scared about…until I go to basic training, and then that’s a different story.