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Airman's Bold, Beautiful Story
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett
February 22, 2024

Have you ever been told you are too much? Or maybe people have told you that you aren’t enough? For one United States Airman, using people's words and labels is the catalyst that inspires her to be the change everyone needs.

“Some of the stereotypes I’ve faced because I'm a black female are, that I lack education, I'm not confident in what I say, I'm from the ghetto, I'm rude, I'm aggressive, I’m mean, I have an attitude problem, [etc.],” explained Hutcherson.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Deandria Hutcherson, 436th Airlift Wing Religious Affairs noncommissioned officer in charge of readiness, grew up in the small town of Opelousas, Louisiana, with her mother and older sister. From a young age, Hutcherson exhibited a bright and determined personality that didn’t always bring people the joy it does today.

February 21, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Deandria Hutcherson, 436th Airlift Wing Religious Affairs noncommissioned officer in charge of readiness, inside the 436th AW Chapel at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Hutcherson recently won NCO of the fourth quarter for 2023, making it the second time she has won in 2023. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett.)
February 21, 2024 - U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Deandria Hutcherson, 436th Airlift Wing Religious Affairs noncommissioned officer in charge of readiness, inside the 436th AW Chapel at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Hutcherson recently won NCO of the fourth quarter for 2023, making it the second time she has won in 2023. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett.)

 According to her mother, Tiki Brantley, she was a bit of a troublemaker during elementary and middle school, known for testing her teacher's patience.

“She had a rough beginning to her story,” said Brantley. “But I told her, she is the writer of her own story and she can change her story too.”

As Hutcherson navigated through high school, she underwent a transformation and emerged as a compassionate and energetic individual.

“When she got to high school, she did a total 180,” said Brantley. “She loved to help people and loved to be involved. She did everything; praise team at church, played high school basketball, participated in debate club, was vice president of the student council and even won homecoming queen her senior year.”

The desire to help others and be involved continued even after graduating high school. Hutcherson was interested in challenging herself and was looking for something more adventurous than college life. Inspired by her mother’s aspirations to serve in the military, and devotion to her faith, she decided to enlist into the United States Air Force in 2019.

“Religious Affairs was my calling because I love helping people,” said Hutcherson. “It has given me the opportunity to share my story, my journey and connect and motivate others.”

Despite her professionalism, dedication and many achievements, Hutcherson has still encountered stereotyping and prejudice due to her race and energetic personality.

“People have said my energy is too much or I’m too emotional, and that's okay,” said Hutcherson. “It's just too much for you. I think it's passion and the world needs more of it in my opinion.”

Instead of allowing labels and stereotypes to be a barrier, she leverages her experience as an African American female to inspire others and foster positive change.

“Some people can say, they see their Airman doing great things in the future,” said Chaplain (Maj.) William Guy, 436th Mission Generation Group chaplain. “But I can’t say that about Staff Sgt. Hutcherson because she is doing great things now! She’s a life coach, she’s a supervisor to multiple Airmen, she helped establish a chaplain corps presence within MSG, and she won NCO of the quarter twice in 2023.”

Hutcherson draws strength from her role models, Chief Master Sgts. Carolyn Russell, 436th AW command chief, Tiffany Griego, 100th Air Refueling Wing command chief, Janna Glotfelty, 436th Mission Support Group senior enlisted leader, and most importantly her mother. She embraces her identity and channels her ‘too much energy’ into positivity in the workplace and around Dover AFB.

“No matter the labels, barriers, stereotypes they give you, continue to be yourself,” Hutcherson stated. “And when you are yourself, be bold, be beautiful and do it through God.”

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