Meet your 2023 SpOC Polaris Winners: Sgt. Kendra Walker

  • Published
  • By Ms. Emily Peacock

U.S. Space Force Sgt. Kendra Walker and her roommates were relaxing in the house and getting ready to knock out Sunday errands, when she heard a loud crash behind her house.

Without hesitation, she ran to the source of the noise and found a car that had crashed into a field not far from Walker’s backyard. Noticing the driver was in distress, Walker instructed her roommates to call 9-1-1 and got into her car so she could drive over to help the driver.

“I noticed the man was trying to run into traffic and later found out he was trying to kill himself,” said Walker. “I ran to the man, got him to calm down and sit with me on the sidewalk as we waited for emergency services arrived. It all happened pretty quickly.” 

In the weeks following the crash, Walker, a crew chief and noncommissioned-officer in charge of Standards & Evaluation with the 18 Space Defense Squadron, a unit within Space Delta 2 – Space Domain Awareness and Space Battle Management, was nominated by her operations flight commander for the USSF’s Character Polaris Award.

“We had gone through the different core value descriptions together and agreed my story most resonated with the core value of character,” said Walker. “To me, character means staying true to yourself, accepting who you are, and being open to other people and their ideas.”

In early December, Walker was selected as a Field Command-level recipient of the Polaris Character Award.

As a crew chief, Walker says she works to demonstrate character by taking interest in her Guardians, getting to know them beyond their job title, and creating an environment where people feel proud of their work.

When asked what she hopes to accomplish during her time in service, Walker set her sights on the stars.

“I’m a huge space nerd,” said Walker. “An absolute dream of mine is to one day become an Astronaut.” 

When she’s not scheduling evaluations for her Guardians, Walker enjoys soaking up the outdoors. From snowboarding to sky diving, Walker isn’t afraid to get her adrenaline pumping.

Originally from Oceanside, California, Walker credits her dad, Kenric, for her compassionate side, but also for her competitive nature.

“He was a Marine for 20 years and has always pushed me to be the best version of myself,” said Walker. “He would always tell me that whatever I put my mind to, to go out and get it. Anything can be yours.” 

Established in 2022, the Polaris Awards program consist of four individual award categories representing the USSF Guardian Values of Character, Courage, Commitment and Connection, in addition to a team award that embodies all four values.