Space Force Instructor a First at Sheppard NCO Academy

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82d TRW Public Affairs

Tech Sgt. Samuel Taylor has been interested in space as long as he can remember. After 13 years in the Air Force in Fire Protection and as a current professional military education instructor at the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, the stars aligned and he was selected for a transfer to Space Force as a Space Systems Operator.

Taylor is the first Space Force enlisted professional military education instructor at the Sheppard NCO Academy.  It was a goal years in the making.

“I was very interested when they first started talking about Space Force,” Taylor said. “I was starting to look at my bachelor’s degree and what I was interested in. So I started pursuing a space policy degree.”

Around the time Taylor earned his degree, he was encouraged to look into other career specialties due to manning changes and discovered the transfer window for Space Force opened. He said he submitted a package but did not think much about it.

Although Space Force is under the Department of the Air Force, transfers are open to service members from all branches of the military, making it highly competitive. About 8 months after Taylor submitted his package, he was notified of his selection.

Taylor now has a renewed sense of purpose in his military career and looks forward to using his experience as an NCO to help guide fellow Guardians. He recalled a speech given by Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger Towberman that focused on the “Guardian Ideal,” which stresses the power of people looking out for one another to create a strong team.

“I’m buying back into the reason I enlisted originally,” he said. “It’s an idea that’s bigger than just me and now in a domain that I’m very interested in.”

SMSgt. Latoria Ellis, Vice Commandant of the Sheppard NCO Academy, hopes Taylor’s career trajectory inspires his students and fellow instructors.

“Tech. Sgt. Taylor is our first ever EPME Space Force Instructor at the Sheppard NCO Academy, and although his tenure will be short, the students enjoy seeing the diversity in the care members,” she said. “His presence aids in the misconception some Noncommissioned Officers may carry regarding the U.S. Space Force. As an inclusion environment with our sister services and our allied partnership we will continue to echo the sentiment that we are all One Team, One Fight.”