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Fort Walton Beach Senior Airman Caroline Troutman playing role in Biden inauguration

Special to Gannett

WASHINGTON — An Air Force airman from Fort Walton Beach is playing a role in Wednesday's inauguration of President Joe Biden.

Senior Airman Caroline Troutman, who in the days before her military service worked as a lifeguard at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, now is one of more than 800 military personnel assigned to the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region. JTF-NCR, with members from all branches of the military, is coordinating all military ceremonial support for the Biden inauguration.

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Troutman, who has three years of military service, is a security specialist for the JTF-NCR. In that role, she helps provide information technology support for incoming JTF-NCR members to ensure they can complete their mission.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Caroline Troutman, a native of Fort Walton Beach, is one of more than 800 service members assigned to Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR). The joint service command is coordinating all military ceremonial support for the Wednesday inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Troutman currently serves as a security specialist for the JTF-NCR, providing information technology support for task force personnel.

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“It was really exciting to hear I was going to support the 59th presidential inauguration,” Troutman said. “Being on my first enlistment, it was a great feeling that my leadership had a lot of faith in me to send me here.”

Troutman, who holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Florida State University, is the first and only person in her family to serve in the military. Still, she said, her family members and the military orientation of Fort Walton Beach were major influences on her decision to join the Air Force.

“I worked as a lifeguard on Eglin and Hurlburt Air Force Base, and I had the privilege to meet many people of both enlisted and officer ranks,” she said. “They would always tell me their stories of where they traveled and the different people they were able to meet."

"It was eye-opening, and inspired me to pursue a life in the military," she added.

Troutman said she hopes to move from the enlisted ranks to become an officer.

Troutman credits her parents for teaching her to stand up for herself and not take no for an answer, as well as the value of accountability and perseverance.

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“I was denied (enlistment) from the Air Force once because of my vision, but I kept pursuing to enlist and I was able to get in,” she said.

Troutman added that her parents "really taught me to never give up, which is why I am here today — and I love it!”

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Another example of the perseverance she learned from her parents is the fact that she earned her degree in three years, graduating at just 20 years old. “I did dual enrollment in high school, and one semester I took 21 hours just so I could get ahead,” she said.

Troutman has since continued her education. Earlier this month she earned an associate’s degree from the Community College of the Air Force.

Even at this early stage of her military career, Troutman has had some significant responsibilities, including preparing a brief for Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett.

“I had briefed the wing commander about four times, my group commander, and my squadron commander,” she said. “At each brief, there would be something to change, just to make sure it was all set for when we would actually brief the secretary of the Air Force."

"My squadron supported me the entire way," she said. "Sometimes I got overwhelmed and was really nervous, but they helped me through it.”

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