We wanted the epic field(s) to show on the issue page (attached), so we wouldn't have to hit "edit" each time to add a missing epic.
Similar to how you can add labels without having to hit "edit" each time (shown on the screen shot).
Doesn't seem like this needs to be a locked field, maybe just restricted by admin from certain people, right?
No, it's locked mostly to prevent people adding it to the wrong thing.
It would not appear here even if you unlocked it though. Jira hides fields that are empty on the issue view, barring some special ones, and the Epic fields are not on that exemption list.
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