Female jumpmaster inspires greatness, serves as testament to women before her

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jordan Lazaro
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


Throughout history, women have experienced diverse hardships and have fought to overcome them.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jacklyn Edgmond, 435th Contingency Response Group airborne jumpmaster, is one woman who has traveled the path carved by these resilient women in hopes of creating a brighter future for herself, and empowering others to follow their hearts despite being underestimated.

“There will always be people in the world who have their own personal beliefs and opinions on the female role,” Edgmond said. “That has only encouraged me to prove them wrong.”

Edgmond grew up in Ellisville, Missouri, with her older brother and was raised by her mother. She enjoyed exploring the outdoors and being in the sunshine. Because of her love for the outdoors she began competing in track and field, and cross-country in middle school. Shortly after high school, her interest shifted to strength training.

After graduating high school, she continued her education at a local community college while working a full-time job. However, Edgmond said she still felt unsure of where her future would lead her.

Knowing she wanted to do something bigger with her life, she leaned on the one person whose wisdom and personal experience most influenced her – her grandfather.

“My grandfather is the person I look up to most,” Edgmond said. “He served in the Air Force for 30 years and told me about all the opportunities the military gave him. His experience and passion for serving his country impacted my decision to join and become the only member in my immediate family to currently be serving.”

On March 17, 2015, Edgmond enlisted into the Air Force as a security forces Airman. At the start of her career, she worked 12-hour night shifts, checking ID cards at installation access points and providing security for aircraft on the flightline.

In pursuit of a change, she applied to be a National Airborne Operations Center Security team member, and was accepted.

“This was the first time I did something out of my comfort zone,” Edgmond said. “While a NAOCS defender, I was given the opportunity to travel all over the world and provide fly-away security for the Secretary of Defense. This experience fueled my desire to continue to test myself.”

In 2019, she was assigned to the 435th Security Forces Squadron at Ramstein AB. Upon arriving, she was placed as an instructor for the Readiness Training Center where she taught pre-deployment training to defenders across the U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa. Two years later she moved into the Phoenix First in Security Team, and is now the team chief over 26 defenders — and the only woman on the team.

Edgmond is also the only female airborne jumpmaster currently in the 435th CRG. This achievement and her skills were recognized during the third annual Fly Like A Girl event on March 20, 2024 hosted by the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, during which she led an all-female jump from a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft as the jumpmaster.

“It was an honor to be able to lead the all-female pass of jumpers during Fly Like A Girl,” Edgmond said. “It was an empowering experience, and a reminder of how we need to break down barriers and pave the way for all the little girls who will one day grow up and what to be just like us.”

Over 900 students across the Kaiserslautern Military Community attended the third annual Fly Like A Girl event, which featured an all-female aircrew flight as well as a career fair to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Throughout my 9 years I’ve been enlisted, I’ve grown tremendously both professionally and personally,” Edgmond said. “They say, ‘with rank comes more responsibility,’ and that responsibility is taking care of the airmen below me and ensuring they’re being developed as future non-commissioned officers.”

Edgmond said she always tries to be there for the people around her, and it is important to look at the bigger picture when guiding her Airmen. Her leadership style is doing-by-example and leaning on her people for ideas and suggestions to make decisions for the team.

“I admire Tech. Sgt. Edgmond because she is compassionate, and she not only is easy to talk to, but she gets to know her Airmen on a personal level,” said Senior Airmen Dakota Spikes, 435th Security Forces Squadron contingency response team leader. “She is a leader who leads from the front. She won't just tell her troops to do something and not be out there doing it with them.”

Her job has allowed her to work with a variety of Airmen, and her impact on them matters, Edgmond said.

“My Airmen are a reminder to me that someone is always watching and could be looking up to you,” Edgmond said. “Experiencing that myself has only motivated me to be a better leader, mentor and supervisor while serving in the Air Force.”

Being a woman in a predominately male career field has posed a few challenges, Edgmond said. However, having a strong team around her has helped her feel supported.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by many like-minded defenders who have motivated me to succeed in every direction in life I’ve pushed myself in,” Edgmond said. “I want women to understand, you will reach points of discouragement, but never let it throw you off your tracks.”

Edgmond believes leaning on your team and building each other up regardless of your differences is important to maintaining a strong team dynamic.

“Keep your head up, eyes open and push forward,” she said. “Break through barriers and pave the way for all the little girls who will one day grow up and want to be just like you.”

Edgmond’s journey through the U.S. Air Force is one of many, but it is a testament to women paving the way for progress.