Stephen Miranda was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1962, in Hilo, Hawaii. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on February 11, 1980, and completed basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, in April 1980. After attending technical training as an Aircraft Pilot Simulation Technician, SrA Miranda served as an Aircraft Pilot Simulation Technician with the 3625th Technical Training Squadron at Tyndall AFB, Florida, from October 1980 to September 1982. He then cross-trained as an Airborne Warning and Control Systems Surveillance Technician, followed by service as an E-3 Sentry AWACS Surveillance Technician and Instructor Airborne Surveillance Technician with the 963rd Airborne Warning and Control Squadron and the 966th Airborne Warning and Control Training Squadron at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, from November 1983 to September 1988. His final assignment was as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Operations Training, and as an Instructor Airborne Surveillance Technician with the 962nd Airborne Warning and Control Squadron at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, from October 1988 until he was killed in the crash of an E-3B Sentry (Call Sign "Yukla 27") shortly after takeoff from Elmendorf AFB on September 22, 1995. MSgt Miranda-O'Connell was buried at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery at Fort Richardson, Alaska.
His Air Medal Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Stephen C. Miranda distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as an Airborne Warning and Control Systems Surveillance Technician, 966th Airborne Warning and Control Training Squadron, 552d Airborne Warning and Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, from 7 November 1983 to 26 August 1985. During this period, Sergeant Miranda exhibited airmanship and courage beyond normal expectations in the successful accomplishment of important reconnaissance missions in Southwest Asia, Iceland and the Middle East, under potentially hazardous conditions, for the United States and allied Air Force and Naval elements. His aerial skills contributed to the worldwide mission of the Wing. The professional ability and outstanding aerial accomplishments of Sergeant Miranda reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.