After more than 37 years with the Montana Air National Guard (MTANG), U.S. Air Force Colonel Trace Thomas was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and the position of Chief of Staff on Sunday, January 7, 2024.
“I enlisted in the guard back in 1986, my main goal was to get a little college money and end up flying F-16s. When everything was said and done and I got out of college, I was selected for pilot training in 1992 and have been flying here ever since,” said Thomas.
Like many people within MTANG, Thomas has always felt a sense of loyalty and family in the Guard.
He said this has helped him immensely over the years during his numerous deployments.
“The nice part is in the Guard, you have your extended family,” Thomas said. “I've been in 37 years; my wife and kids have plenty of friends and family and support here within the guard so that while we're on the road, they always seem to have somebody to take care of them if they need to. It's tough when you're on the road, you worry about them, but it's also good because you know they're in good hands.”
Thomas has held just about every position within operations through the guard, and he said he is looking forward to this next chapter in his career.
“I really truly believe in riding for the brand and the brand is Montana Air Guard, so I always felt inclined to do that. If I was going to serve, it was going to be here, not somewhere else.”