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A Defender’s example, builds a stronger force

Woman poses for a photo

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sameerah Epps, 325th Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant, poses for a photo at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 14, 2021. Epps was suggested for a feature highlight by her command because of her outstanding leadership skills and the effort she puts into training her Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Whether it’s guarding the Installation of the Future, monitoring the flight line or protecting high valued assets, the 325th Security Forces Squadron is always on guard.

Air Force military police, otherwise known as Defenders, play a huge role in installation security and mission readiness. One particular Team Tyndall Defender, Tech. Sgt. Sameerah Epps, 325th SFS flight sergeant, goes above and beyond to fulfill the Security Forces mission, while also setting an example for the Airmen below her.

“She is a strong leader with a wealth of world experience but a very easy-to-talk-to Airman,” said Master Sgt. Garey Watson, 325th SFS plans and programs superintendent, and one of Epps supervisors. “In just the few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with [Epps], she has shown me a leadership style I wish I had as a noncommissioned officer. She is caring, patient, outgoing and a hidden hero.”

Security Forces is a career field that requires Defenders to be level-headed in chaotic situations and they are held to a high standard when it comes to installation security.

Epps has proven herself to be adaptable in various situations. She explained that with fluctuations in manpower due to deployments, permanent change of station orders and other assignments, she was often given responsibilities that seemed far out of her league.

“My attentiveness, drive, willpower and dedication are just a few of the reasons that leadership felt confident in trusting me to carry out those daily responsibilities,” said Epps. “I am grateful for that because it prepared me for the role I am currently in.”

Outside of taking on extra duties, Epps had to learn to thrive in a male-dominated career field.

“When other female Airmen see her work they can be intimidated,” said Watson. “However, she gives them the best example of how female Defenders can dominate just as well as the male Defenders.”

Senior Airman Haley Berry, 325th SFS response force member and one of Epps’ troops, explained that she first felt this way, but over the last nine months of working with Epps, she has come to greatly appreciate her and the way she carries herself as a Defender.

“Tech Sgt. Epps has positively changed my outlook on being a female in Security Forces,” said Berry. “She has taught me to be more assertive and confident when conducting my duties in a career field where I used to feel so little and awkward as the only or one of the only females in any situation.”

One of Epps goals in joining the Air Force as a Defender was to serve and protect at a greater level, and while she feels like she has accomplished that goal, she says she still has a lot to learn.

“As an Airman who has yet to retire, there is still a lot of work to be accomplished within my career,” said Epps.

She stated that she wants to continue to lead by example and provide Airmen with a strong work ethic and the resilience to handle any situation.

 “Tech. Sgt. Epps is a Defender through and through,” said Watson. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills to be emulated. She is not one to shy away from a challenge and I think it’s because she knows it will help her grow.”