TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Some call him “the peanut butter to their jelly,” others “the backbone to the shop.” These are the reasons this security forces member was selected as an unsung hero.
Master Sgt. Nicholas Kehoe is the NCO in charge of installation security at the 325th Security Forces Squadron S-5 section, and is from Sharpsville, a small town in Pennsylvania. He received his diploma from Sharpsville Area High School, with a graduating class of approximately 70 students. After that, he decided to join the Air Force.
“I joined at a very young age, and that decision has led me to what I have today,” Kehoe said. “I have a wonderful family and have traveled to many beautiful places, and if I didn’t make that choice I wouldn’t be here today.”
Kehoe lives with his large family of six, but he is the only male in his household, which can make for some interesting stories. He met his wife when stationed at Luke AFB, Arizona, and has four little girls.
“As a father of four girls, not everything you do is going to be manly,” he said. “So, you know, I have been known to have tiaras put on my head or dance around the living room to some pop music. No makeup though. They’re all five and under, so if I gave them makeup, I don’t think you would understand the anarchy that would ensue.”
During his 15-year career as a security forces member, Kehoe has been to eight different bases, from overseas in Osan Air Base, South Korea, to Eielson AFB, Alaska, his favorite base thus far. He has also had a variety of jobs within his career, ranging from entry controller, patrolman and military working dog handler.
“I like Alaska. It’s not for everybody, especially when you get up that far north, but I really liked it,” he said after speaking of his favorite base. “I would have stayed there for the rest of my career if they would’ve let me.
“The best job I had was as a K-9 handler,” he added. “I really enjoyed being in a K-9 unit. It takes a different skill set and is very rewarding. You get out of it what you put in to it. If you put in a lot of work, you and your K-9 will become an amazing team.”
One of the reasons why Kehoe was selected as the unsung here was for doing what he needed to do to get the mission done and for spearheading the Unit Marshall Program.
This program gives squadron commanders the ability to arm their personnel with the knowledge to mitigate active shooter or security risks.
“This is one of the programs sergeant Kehoe spearheaded and took control of.” said Senior Master Sgt. Brian J. Viceroy. “This is not your typical ‘cop job,’ and he has been the backbone to this shop.”
Although a busy man, Kehoe makes sure he can balance both his family time and work.
“You have to leave work at work. It’s that simple,” Kehoe said. ”This [career] isn’t always going to be here, but your family always will.”
One of the best parts of being in security forces for him is feeling rewarded, and this job provides that opportunity time after time.
”There are a lot of opportunities like that in security forces,” Kehoe said. “You’re put into leadership roles pretty early in your career. Once you obtain the tools to become a leader, you are able to efficiently develop people and give them the knowledge and skillset to help them get where they want to be professionally and personally.”
Soon Kehoe will be leaving security forces and going to a job that will let him keep on developing younger Airmen toward a brighter future. He will become Tyndall’s new commandant for the Airman Leadership School.
“I look forward to the challenge,” he said. “This gives me a chance to play a part in developing the future of the Air Force and carrying on enlisted traditions. I think it will be a great assignment. You always need to take advantage of everything the Air force has to offer.”
As Kehoe moves on from security forces to ALS, he will still wear the patch of and is part of that family.
“Sergeant Kehoe is the peanut butter to our jelly,” said James Hazzard, 325th SFS S-5 chief of plans and programs. “He’s the glue and is what makes us stick together. He will be sorely missed.”
Though his career is not over in the near future, Kehoe will find a happy place with his family once he does retire from the Air Force.
“Someday when I do retire I am going north and getting out of the South. I’m not a big fan of the heat,” he concluded.