This week’s Borne the Battle features Air Force Veteran Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, who discusses her efforts in overcoming the adversity of a stereotypical workforce, and breaking barriers while transitioning to become the founder of a niche publishing, marketing and communications firm. She is also the author of bilingual children and entrepreneurship books.
Tiscareno-Sato joined the Air Force on the advice of her high school counselor’s husband to apply for a ROTC Scholarship. After school, she completed Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather Air Force Base (AFB) in Sacramento and then graduated near the top of her class – as the only woman in the class. She then trained in the KC-135R refueling tanker at Castle AFB in California before reporting to the 43rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington.
On her first deployment was to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, she was a member of one of the first few aircrews to patrol and enforce the Southern NO FLY Zone in Southern Iraq after the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm. She and her crew earned the air medal. This happened 10 months before Congress lifted the Combat Exclusion Law that barred women from being assigned to combat duties.
In the podcast, Tisacareno-Sato tells the story of how this Air Medal almost didn’t happen for her crew because of this technicality.
During her military career, she visited four continents and flew for thousands of hours. As an instructor, she taught GPS and navigation systems. She also learned how to work in a cross-cultural environment, which set her up for a future in global marketing.
After her service, Tiscareno-Sato pursued and secured a position at Siemens as a global marketer. She is also the author of an Amazon bestselling bilingual children’s book, Good Night Captain Mama/Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá, the first bilingual children’s book about why mommies serve in the military.
This ground-breaking book was honored at the American Library Association National Convention (2014 International Latino Book Awards) in the category of “Best Educational Children’s Book – Bilingual.” Since then, the book has won awards in competitions among military writers, independent publishers and The Writer’s Digest Magazine.
Veteran Graciela Tiscareno-Sato: Finding Your Mission
In this episode, Tiscareno-Sato discusses:
- The importance of mentorship.
- Her military career that took her across the globe and inspired a love for travel and culture.
- Life as one of the first females to fly combat missions for the Air Force.
- Transition tips from her experience as an airman and civilian teacher.
- The journey to founding the Gracefully Global Group.
- The importance of personal branding.
- “Book Birthing.”
- Writing tips and the best ways to publish a book.
#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:
- Navy Veteran Wendy B. Lawrence
Mentioned in this episode:
- Borne the Battle #226: Marine Corps Veteran Scott Stump, President and CEO, National Desert Storm Memorial Association.
- Borne the Battle #7: Kayla Williams – Army Veteran, Director of Center for Women Veterans.
- Operation Southern Watch.
- Lifting of aviation combat exclusion.
- Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.
Jabari Shakir is a podcast intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a journalism undergraduate at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.