Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

March 30, 2017 at 1:38pm

McChord power couple

Master Sgt. Theodore (T.J.) McKee and wife, Master Sgt. Tiffany McKee, pose for a photo on the McChord Field flightline at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, March 16. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz

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The deal was sealed in 2012, when Tiffany unleashed a pick-up line so Air Force it would make Uncle Sam blush, and asked T.J. for help perfecting her 90-degree push-up form.

"I had been a personnelist for twelve years when I received an order of retraining into logistics plans," Tiffany said. "When I arrived at Little Rock (Air Force Base, Arkansas), I wondered what this new path had in store for me. Then I walked into the gym, saw T.J., and thought, ‘Yeah, I need some help working out.'"

As the adage goes, first comes love, then comes marriage.

"We got married in March 2013," T.J. said. "In May, Tiffany deployed and shortly after her return received a short-tour assignment to Korea. By the time she came back to the states, I was at the NCO Academy and afterward, onto a year-long assignment to southwest Asia."

Instances of poor timing kept the newlyweds apart for more than two years, but when they reunited at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in 2016, the McKees were more balanced, and better than ever.

"We're yin and yang," Tiffany said. "We feed off each other and it's a perfect balance. We are able to be focused and goal-oriented at work, and happy and content at home effortlessly."

T.J. echoed his wife's sentiments.

"We bounce ideas off of one another," the newly-minted master sergeant said. "When I first met Tiffany she was very stern, but I'm a people-person and a bit of that rubbed off on her. As for me, I wasn't always career-oriented, and she has helped me grow in that area of my life."

As the accolades imply, both McKees are excelling on-the-job. Tiffany was vectored in the top 19 percent of 117 master sergeants in the logistics plans career field. T.J. aspires to be a first sergeant, and is renowned within his squadron for his ability to not only take care of the mission, but the airmen who accomplish it.

Living a life that reflects integrity, service and excellence through life's highs and lows is no small feat, but this Air Force power couple is proof that it can be done.

"I have this drive to wake up every day and be better than I was yesterday; to do more than I did yesterday," Tiffany said. "Nobody wakes up thinking, ‘I want to be a failure today.' It's all about self-improvement a little bit at a time, every single day."

T.J.'s source of success, and the lesson he hopes to impart to his fellow airmen, is a simple one:

"Don't let anybody tell you you can't," T.J. said. "Even if the odds are against you, push forward and give it your best."

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