Veteran Tracy Schmid enlisted in the US Navy in 1984 as a Sea and Air Mariner. Tracy joined the military because she wanted to better herself, find her purpose, and allow her to do something with her life that would benefit others, not just herself. After boot camp, she returned home to the reserves. Once home, Tracy decided she wanted to make a larger impact and decided to go into active service, departing again in 1985. Her career began with the first of 11 duty stations at Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (COMSUBLANT) Norfolk, VA. Shortly after joining the Navy, Tracy was selected to participate in the Ship Rider Program aboard the USS Kennedy (CVN-67). This program evaluated the feasibility of integrating women onboard naval ships and resulted in fleet wide integration beginning in 1995. Tracy also spent a significant portion of her career as a Battlegroup Frequency Manager, responsible for developing and managing comprehensive multinational and US Forces communication plans in support of Battlegroup Commanders.
Additionally, Tracy served as a Cryptologic Material Specialist and custodian for the US NATO Command Headquarters. She was responsible for accounting, handling, distributing, and the destruction of sensitive materials for NATO nations and partners. Her efforts were vital to the success of countless operations throughout the world. Tracy has been awarded several medals including: Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medals, Battle E Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal Rifle and Pistol Expert Medals, and multiple tour and service ribbons. Tracy retired in 2005 after 22 years of service.
After leaving the military, Tracy didn’t embark on a new career in the traditional sense. Battling her own medical issues which required multiple surgeries, she became a fighter, fighting for herself and for others. Tracy became a caregiver for those that needed her most. She aided her mother through multiple life-threatening challenges, her stepfather as he battled cancer, and several other family members who needed her help.
In recent years, Tracy has become involved with the Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue (SEVA GRREAT), serving as the Hampton Roads South Side Events Coordinator. She is currently developing a community outreach program for SEVA GRREAT called “PAWSitive Vibes”. When she’s not loving on these adorable goldens, Tracy dedicates her time to several other groups including Cancer Haters United, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and River Oak Church Women’s Ministry.
Branch Partner, Tanya Gills from our Virginia Beach, VA branch was honored to present Tracy with her award.
*Pictured from left to right: Stacy Saville, Tracy Schmid, Tanya Gills, Loretta Killen
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