91st Missile Wing Airman Pursues Two Dreams

  • Published
  • By Courtesy Writer: Rod Wilson, Northern Sentry
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
Capt. Tarina Crook, a 91st Missile Wing Missilier, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., is an airman chasing two dreams. Crook grew up as a military brat in O’Fallen, Illinois. She eventually joined the military and began a long-term career in the Air Force. However, Crook has an additional calling to help others. This altruistic nature has led her to pursue a budding career in social work. Crook divides her time between her duties as a Missilier and volunteering in the community.
While Tarina enjoys the "slower paced lifestyle" of Minot compared to her previous experiences, she still finds herself constantly moving with a full schedule that includes the Air Force, YWCA of Minot, and her graduate program.
After coming back from a week in the missile field, Crook spends her time off working eight hours a day at the YWCA, where she meets with clients, learns about case management, and offers aid to local women.
Her evenings are spent working on coursework for her Master’s degree in Social Work through Chamberlain University. Despite her busy schedule, Crook also finds time to volunteer as a Youth Group leader at The Pursuit, where she is able to expand her reach to helping high school age girls.
Through her social work, she hopes to bring recognition to many problems in the area, including diaper shortages for struggling mothers, lack of adequate clothing, transportation problems, and homelessness.
Describing one prominent moment that inspired her passion for helping other women, "I was one of eleven black women to graduate in a class of about 860 people from the Air Force Academy," said Crook. She believes strongly in breaking down the systemic barriers that can often hold women back from pursuing their dreams. She also hopes to use her social work degree to bring light to the struggles of underprivileged women in the Minot community and provide them with the resources they need to lead better lives.
"I think of it as running a race. I’m here to help people start the race on time, and I want to help them get to the finish line," said Crook.
While Crook dedicates plenty of time to her degree in Social Work, she also plans to continue providing nuclear deterrence as a Missilier. The ultimate goal for her career path is to find a job in social work that is flexible with her Air Force schedule.
"I have a heart and passion for both worlds," she said with resounding enthusiasm. Crook is a few years away from receiving her social work degree, and still manages to give 100 percent to the Air Force, and to her community every day. She is one of many Airmen who truly aim high.