Maj. Lowe; hooked on Security Forces

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Del Oso
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The United States Air Force is comprised of Airmen from all around the world and all walks of life. One particular Airman at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, is no exception.

For Maj. Matthew Lowe, the 325th Security Forces Squadron’s new commander, his military journey began with a four year enlistment with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1997. While first working as an infantryman and then transitioning into supply for the same infantry unit, Lowe found his place and passion in leadership roles.

“I had troops under me pretty early on [in the Marines],” recalled Lowe. “I enjoyed the camaraderie and the leadership aspects of the job.”

After his enlistment, Lowe decided he wanted to go back to school for a medical degree, but the military school he had looked into was specific to Air Force, Army and Navy. Upon speaking to an Air Force recruiter, they noted his prior service as a Marine and suggested commissioning as a Security Forces officer.

“I chose Security Forces and even as a lieutenant I was leading something like 40 people and it just kept growing,” said Lowe. “As an operations officer I would have 150 to 200 people under me and I realized how much I missed leading troops, so when the opportunity arose for me to cross-train into medical, I chose to stay in Security Forces.”

Over the next several years, Lowe served at five different duty locations with many different responsibilities and positions including serving as an Officer Training School instructor at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, attending Air Command and Staff College and finally landing at Tyndall Air Force Base as the 325th SFS commander.

Lowe, his wife of ten years, Dana, his son Levi and daughter Sadie, are looking forward to serving at Tyndall as they all greatly enjoy the outdoors and traveling.

“Fishing is a big part of my life and has been for a long time,” explained Lowe. “On the weekends when we’re out doing something, fishing is usually what we’re doing.”

While floating on a lake and fishing for bass is Lowe’s favorite, living so close to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico provides an opportunity to broaden his horizons - much like the opportunity to command a squadron in the middle of transitioning into the “Installation of the Future”.

“It’s exciting to be at a base where there’s so much innovation going on,” said Lowe. “[Tyndall] is a testbed for a lot of technology, so trying to capitalize on that, integrate it into our daily mission and how it potentially applies to things downrange is exciting because this could build into an enterprise wide solution based on what we’re doing here at Tyndall.”

While Tyndall is physically evolving into an installation unlike any other, the base population is still transitioning back into a state of normalcy.

“My goal is to get us over the post-hurricane hump,” stated Lowe. “We are doing a lot of new and exciting things but I also want to focus on what it is that we, as a squadron, need to do and had it not been for the hurricane, should have been doing all along.”

Joining a new team as the commander comes with many challenges, including integrating into a tightly knit unit and expecting full trust and communication. Support from the senior enlisted leaders in the squadron is essential for a smooth leadership transition.

“I’m really looking forward to a fresh perspective and a potential shift from recovery and rebuild focus to more steady state operations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Richard Swank, 325th SFS senior enlisted leader. “The rebuild itself is going to continue for the foreseeable future, but we need to continue the transition from a reactive force to a proactive force, and I think Maj. Lowe is certainly the right commander for that.”