Warrior of the week: Staff Sgt. Kimberly Damron

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  • Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Kimberly Damron, 71st Operations Support Squadron air traffic control watch supervisor, "is an outstanding individual and NCO; she is always there for her troops both on and off duty," according to Master Sgt. Collette Olson, 71st OSS ATC chief controller. "She uses every available means at her disposal to encourage her troops to better themselves both as an air traffic controller and an Airman. Sergeant Damron goes above and beyond what is expected or required of her, putting 200 percent into whatever she is doing."
Eight years ago, Sergeant Damron was sitting in her hometown of Pomona, Calif., trying to figure out what she wanted to do in life. She had completed two semesters of college courses, but still didn't feel like she was working towards any good goals.
"I thought joining the Air Force would be a real challenge," she said.
When it came to deciding a career path, Sergeant Damron originally had her sights set on being a Morse code interpreter. The recruiters also laid out her other options, specifically air traffic control. They informed her she could be eligible for future bonuses in air traffic control, but it wasn't the money that attracted her.
"When they told me air traffic control was one of the hardest careers in the Air Force, I was like 'ooh, it's hard and it's challenging' so that's what I chose," Sergeant Damron said.
Since then, she has worked air traffic control at Hill Air Force Base, Utah., Lajes Field, Portugal and most recently, at Vance.
Sergeant Damron was recently selected to participate in the airfield operations dual certification program. After eight years of working the tower, she switched to the RAPCON, the other side of air traffic control, to train for her radar special experience identifier.
"Her initiative and go-to attitude were key in her selection to participate in the program," said Sergeant Olson.
With Sergeant Damron's affinity for challenges, she was happy to get the opportunity to join the RAPCON. She wanted to start her career at the RAPCON following technical school, because she believed it was harder and more challenging than the tower.
Despite her challenging career choice, Sergeant Damron likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband, also an air traffic controller here, and her two children.
"Family is really important to me," she said. "People don't spend enough time with their families."
She also enjoys participating in community service around Enid and Guthrie, where her husband is from. She enjoys volunteering with the Angel Food Ministries and works at the day care at her church. The entire family will also be camping out this weekend while participating in Relay for Life.
The idea of service before self is something Sergeant Damron would like to pass to her children.
"I want them to grow up wanting to do community work," she said. "Not only are you helping people but it's really fun too."