Danielle retired from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant in November 2021, after serving for over 20 years. She entered active duty as a dental assistant in February 2001. Her first assignment was to Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea, and her second assignment was to Andersen AFB, Guam. In 2005, Danielle promoted to Staff Sergeant at RAF Lakenheath, England. She earned NCO of the Quarter twice for her squadron, and went on to win NCO of the Year in 2008. She then moved to Tinker AFB, OK, where she became an NCOIC in the Dental Squadron and was instrumental in her squadron winning AFMC’s Large Dental Clinic of the Year in 2010.
Danielle was accepted to retrain as a paralegal in 2011. She earned Top Graduate in Paralegal Training, which was a precursor to an unprecedented career as one of the top paralegals in the Air Force JAG Corps. She immediately took over as NCOIC of Military Justice at Scott AFB, MO, one of the busiest and highest-profile military justice bases in the Air Force. She won the Diamond Sharp Award and Wing Staff Agency’s NCO of the Quarter Award. She was then hand-selected to become the Defense Paralegal, which is where she first met Steph in 2013 and Abby in 2015.
As a Defense Paralegal, her dedication to clients earned her NCO of the Year two years in a row. She assisted nearly 1,500 Airmen facing adverse actions. She touched countless lives and guided Airmen through the most difficult charges someone can face. She had handled cases involving murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, child abuse, theft, and numerous other UCMJ offenses. She was named Tinker Region NCO of the Quarter three times, won the NCO Academy Commandant’s Award, and won another Diamond Sharp Award.
Her management skills were widely-noticed, and she was offered a superintendent position at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, NC. She deployed and thrived in the joint service environment at United States Central Command as the Army/Air Force Command Paralegal. She assessed Syrian and Yemen campaign plans supporting Operations FREEDOM SENTINEL and INHERENT RESOLVE. She returned to Pope and promoted to MSgt. Under her leadership, her Airmen won 14 Squadron awards, 10 Wing awards, 6 Numbered Air Force awards, 5 Major Command awards, 1 Air Force-Level award, and an award from the American Bar Association for Legal Assistance to Military Personnel.
Danielle’s passion for the Defense led her back, and she completed her service as Defense Paralegal Manager. She managed and led 22 geographically separated offices and 56 personnel in the busiest circuit in the Trial Defense Division. Her last assignment was summed up by a Circuit Defense Counsel: “It’s difficult to overstate just how much the Central Circuit as a whole owes to MSgt Espinosa’s selfless diligence, communication skills, and professional leadership.”
Throughout her Active Duty career, Danielle has touched the lives of countless Airmen in a variety of ways, and mentored Airmen facing some of life’s toughest battles. She is thrilled to move into this next chapter, where she can bring her skills, talent, and compassion to servicemembers across the entire military as the Director of Operations for Kral Military Defense.
Danielle lives in San Antonio, Texas with her son and daughter.