Sergeant Campbell STEPs up

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ian Dudley
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs

Promotion via Stripes for Exceptional Performers, or the STEP program, is nearly as a rare as a leprechaun sighting, but unlike a leprechaun sighting which relies on luck, the STEP program is based solely in the hard work and dedication of the individual.

Staff. Sgt. Katheryn Campbell, 30th Medical Support Squadron medical readiness flight chief, was recently selected for promotion to Technical Sergeant because of her outstanding performance and leadership abilities.

“The STEP program supplements existing Airman Promotion programs and is designed to accommodate unique circumstances that, in the commander’s judgment, clearly warrant promotion,” said Lt. Col. Pedro Burton-Taylor, 30th MDSS commander. “It is intended to provide a means to promote Airmen for compelling, although perhaps not quantifiable, reasons. Campbell was selected for STEP due to her exemplary and exceptional work performance and leadership.” 

Although she was aware that leadership was submitting her name for early promotion, she dared not hope that she would be selected.

“I knew that my leadership had considered me for the STEP back in January, but I had no clue that I had a chance,” said Campbell. “The day I was told was an amazing surprise. I feel ecstatic, honored, humbled, and grateful.”

Campbell attributes her selection to the mentorship she received from her early days as an Airman.

“I have always had mentors that have supported me and guided me towards the path of success,” said Campbell. “My very first mentor, Chief Master Sgt. Angela Suafoa showed me the path to success from the very beginning of my Air Force career. My final mentor has been my current supervisor Mr. Thomas Smith. He has a wealth of knowledge that he shares with me and since day one with him, he has helped me complete my personal and professional goals.”

Under her leadership the medical readiness flight was deemed the best in Air Force Space Command and she won the 30th Medical Group’s NCO of the year.

“As her supervisor, I have personally witnessed Campbell’s astute intelligence, versatile talents, confident leadership and flawless professionalism,” said Thomas Smith, 30th Medical Group medical readiness manager. “She consistently exemplifies the highest traditions of military service. Moreover, Campbell is a bioenvironmental technician by trade and stepped out of her primary function, to be the medical readiness flight chief. Also, she garnered the ‘Team V’ Noncommissioned Officer of the 4th Quarter and the group’s 2015 NCO of the Year. Campbell singlehandedly led the medical readiness flight to best Medical Readiness team in Space Command for two years in a row with the medical group earning Air Force Space Command’s 2015 ‘Best Clinic’ team award.”

As Campbell joins the few STEP promotees in the annals of Air Force history, she prepares to leave Vandenberg to become a bioenvironmental technical school instructor, readying herself for the next step in her career.

“STEP promotion selections are very competitive, thus a very small percentage of Airmen are promoted via this process,” said Burton-Taylor. “Campbell will soon leave us since she was recently competitively selected to be a bio-environmental engineering technical school instructor at Wright Patterson AFB, where she was highly recommended for the position.”