Tommie Baker was born in Alpine, Texas, on the Air Force's birthday, September 18, 1961. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force through the delayed enlistment program in March 1980, and went on active duty on November 3, 1980. After graduating from basic training in December 1980, Baker was trained as a jet engine mechanic at Chanute AFB, Illinois, before serving with the 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, from March 1981 to July 1989. During this time, Sgt Baker was selected as the Tactical Air Command Commander's Maintenance Professional of the Year in 1988. Also during this time, he was airborne in an E-3 AWACS tracking mission during the Iran-Iraq War on May 17, 1987, when an Iraqi Mirage F1 fighter fired two Exocet antiship missiles at the American guided-missile frigate USS Stark (FFG-31). Sgt Baker's next assignment was as a Jet Engine Instructor for the 413th Field Training Detachment, also at Tinker AFB, where he served from July 1989 to April 1994. He then cross-trained into Public Affairs and served with the 750th Space Group at Onizuka Air Station, California, from March 1995 to July 1997. Baker then transferred to the 36th Air Base Wing at Andersen AFB, Guam, where he served until August 1999. His next assignment was with Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command at Robins AFB, Georgia, from September 1999 to October 2003. MSgt Baker's final assignment was with the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, where he served as the superintendent of Public Affairs from October 2003 until his retirement from the Air Force on December 1, 2006. After retiring, Tommie became the Community Relations Coordinator for the 611th Civil Engineer Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, where he continues to serve as a civilian. He and his wife, the former Donna Anderson of Midwest City, Oklahoma, were married on August 14, 1982, and they have one son, Raymond.
His 2nd (of 3) Meritorious Service Medal Citation reads:
FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE 11 SEPTEMBER 2002 TO 29 SEPTEMBER 2003: Master Sergeant Tommie W. Baker distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as Superintendent, Public Affairs, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. During this period, the outstanding professional skill, leadership, and ceaseless efforts of Sergeant Baker resulted in major contributions to the effectiveness and success of Public Affairs. He aggressively managed the command Public Affairs programs for three numbered air forces and 37 wing offices for the second largest major command in the Air Force. He ensured 100 percent accuracy of the career field's 175 deployable positions. As the command Public Affairs expert, he was the top entrusted senior noncommissioned officer spokesperson for five general officers and over 60 colonels at the headquarters. In addition, his superb fiscal management of a 165,000 thousand dollars budget ensured Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs professionals were funded and equipped to meet Headquarters Support Programs and Organizational Representation Fund issues, as well as real-world contingencies. Sergeant Baker flawlessly tracked and coordinated all command Public Affairs personnel in the Army Technical Training Reservation System, guaranteeing all personnel were assigned training quotas, thereby erasing a two-year backlog of classes. His superior performance was pivotal to his selection as the Headquarters Air Force Reserve senior noncommissioned officer of the year for 2002, and the command's public affairs senior noncommissioned officer of the year. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Baker reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.