From Boots To Glamour

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Madelyn Yepez
  • Space Base Delta 2 Public Affairs

Black History Month is celebrated each February to honor the achievements and contributions of African Americans and one Guardian has made significant strides in her career both in uniform and off-duty.

1st. Lt. Ifeoma Emeka combines duty and glamor as a Space Operations Officer at Buckley Space Force Base with her thriving modeling career in Denver, captivating audiences with her striking presence both on the runway and in high-profile campaigns.

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Emeka commissioned into the Space Force after graduating the United States Air Force Academy and has been a part of the service for four years.

In 2022 she took to the runway for the first time in Denver, empowering her personality and individual resilience with every precise step.

“I never really thought I could do it until I had a few friends encourage me to try out for the Denver Fashion Week,” remarked Emeka. “After making Denver Fashion Week and walking in a few shows, I decided to pursue active/outdoor modeling and was able to get signed to my current agency.”

Historically, African American women faced significant barriers to entry in the modeling industry due to racism, colorism, and limited opportunities for representation.

“Modeling as a black model can be difficult,” said Emeka.

Emeka continued, that “sometimes designers or companies are looking for a certain look that isn’t you, that kind of rejection can be difficult…but at the same time, I find motivation in it.”

Emeka takes that motivation to her work center, to inspire the Guardians she leads, motivating them to chase their dreams and that anything is possible when you dedicate yourself to it, as she does all year and during Black History Month. 

Celebrating Black History Month is a vital means to commemorate the past, empower African Americans in the present, and shape the future by advocating for inclusion, diversity, and equality for all.

“Celebrating Black History Month means celebrating the accomplishments of prominent figures within American history and learning about the history that has, at times, been withheld from educational institutions,” remarked Emeka. “It provides a dedicated time to reflect on the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of black people in shaping American history and culture.”