Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Year of the Defender: The face behind the gatekeeper

By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.    50th Security Forces Squadron Airmen are the first individuals to greet anyone entering Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, but who is the individual behind the plate carrier, M4 carbine and Berretta M9?

Airman 1st Class Stevie La Croix, 50th SFS response force patrol, hails from Hesperia, California about an hour and a half from Los Angeles. La Croix said she always had plans to join the Air Force.

“I wanted to go to college and I knew the Air Force could help with that and my grandfather was in the Navy,” she said. “From about the age of 10 I knew the military was something I wanted to be a part of.”

La Croix said she plans to make a career out of the Air Force and utilize the benefits earned through her service.

“Like many others, I would like to pursue and complete my education which I am currently working on, but I would also like to go a step further and be a good leader, mentor and example to those around me,” she said.

La Croix’s educational focus is health care management, with an end goal of eventually running the day-to-day operations of a hospital.

“I’ve always wanted to do something benefiting other people,” she said. “It’s a passion I have always had and I think I am a good fit for the medical industry.”

Senior Airman Alex Villapando, 50th SFS response force leader, who works with La Croix said she is a great Airman to work with.

“She is an individual who doesn’t get too caught up in her work,” he said. “She also knows how to have fun at work too. She has a good balance in her work ethic and I think it is a great trait to have.”

50th SFS members like La Croix begin their day by coming in, arming up and going through guard mount.

“We talk about what may have happened in the shift prior, what will be happening during our shift and then everyone is assigned their post,” she said. “From there we go out and conduct our change over.”

Contrary to popular belief, response force patrolmen are not always standing at the gate checking common access cards.

“We can be a part of a security unit, building checks, verifying credentials at any of the entry control points and checking traffic,” La Croix said. “We also respond to alarms or anything else that may go on throughout the day.”

Although La Croix has her sights set on future endeavors, she said she does not take her eyes off her current mission.

“An important aspect to me for my day is performing my duties to the best of my ability, making sure everything is running smoothly and ensuring I am alert, listening and making sure whatever I have to respond to, I respond to it appropriately,” she said.

La Croix said the most rewarding part of being security forces to her is being able to help other people.

“Whatever the situation may be, whether it is a medical emergency, or just directing someone around base it is a fulfilling experience,” she said.

She said one thing she would like people to know about 50th SFS and the career field as whole is they are a close family and take care of each other, echoing the 50th Space Wing priority of taking care of our Airmen and families always.

“Despite what people may say or think about Security Forces, we are conducting our mission to best of our ability and we are always going to make sure of that,” she said.

Under the navy blue beret there is a sharp and bright mind with educational aspirations and dedication.

Year of the Defender: The face behind the gatekeeper
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