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She’s the bomb

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, was one of three NCOs within the Fifth Air Force to receive a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion April 26, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotions are awarded to Airmen who exhibit outstanding performance in their careers, encompassing the whole-Airman concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, was one of three NCOs within the Fifth Air Force to receive a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion April 26, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotions are awarded to Airmen who exhibit outstanding performance in their careers, encompassing the whole-Airman concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, works at her desk May 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling recently was awarded a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion. Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotions are given to top performers in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, works at her desk May 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling recently was awarded a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion. Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotions are given to top performers in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, dons an EOD bomb suit May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling recently received a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion for exceptional job performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, dons an EOD bomb suit May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling recently received a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion for exceptional job performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal apprentices, assist Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th CES EOD supply NCO in charge, as she gets into an EOD bomb suit May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Explosive Ordnance Disposal response is made possible through team dynamics between NCOs and Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal apprentices, assist Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th CES EOD supply NCO in charge, as she gets into an EOD bomb suit May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Explosive Ordnance Disposal response is made possible through team dynamics between NCOs and Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, is assisted into an EOD bomb suit by Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th CES EOD apprentices, May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling frequently trains and mentors EOD Airmen, encouraging professional excellence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, is assisted into an EOD bomb suit by Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th CES EOD apprentices, May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling frequently trains and mentors EOD Airmen, encouraging professional excellence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, is assisted into an EOD bomb suit by Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th CES EOD apprentices, May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Frequent training for EOD response methods is integral to maintaining proficiency and readiness for any contingency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, is assisted into an EOD bomb suit by Airmen 1st Class Anthony Beschi and Quentin Deneau, 18th CES EOD apprentices, May 4, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Frequent training for EOD response methods is integral to maintaining proficiency and readiness for any contingency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, was selected for a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion April 26, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling is determined to be the best EOD tech possible and mentor to her fellow Airmen who contributed to her promotion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, was selected for a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion April 26, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kimberling is determined to be the best EOD tech possible and mentor to her fellow Airmen who contributed to her promotion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Everyday, U.S. Air Force Airmen across the globe excel; however, there are those who take the extra step and go the extra mile, even when they think no one is looking.

Hard work isn’t always recognized at first, but eventually it does pay off.

Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Kimberling, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal supply NCO in charge, was one of three NCOs within the Fifth Air Force to receive a Stripes for Exceptional Performers promotion.

“When I found out, it was a complete surprise,” said Kimberling. “I had no idea, my husband had no idea, and it was wonderful and in large part due to my leadership. I try to mentor every Airman around me. I’ve been in the Air Force for 10 years, so I use my experience helping them out from time to time.”

Senior Master Sgt. Loren Green, 18th CES EOD flight chief, said these promotions are given to few Airmen.

“For any STEP promotion, it starts with exceptional performance in your job duties,” said Green. “You also have to have a high level of consistency and show you deserve promotion. She has shown this and more.”

Green commented on how Kimberling works on a variety of whole-Airman concept programs, is a Volunteer Victim Advocate, is working on her master’s degree and demonstrated great determination as a staff sergeant. 

“I think her determination kept her performing at such a high level as a staff sergeant,” said Green. “She kept testing for technical sergeant and it never deterred her. I hope that message gets out to other Airmen; showing them if they work hard and stay determined, it will eventually pay off.”

Kimberling’s determination has been present since her first day on the job.

“The first time I ever blew something up, it was exciting and exhilarating; I was like, ‘this is all I want to do,’” said Kimberling. “I still feel the same way, nine years later. I am committed to being the best EOD technician and mentor I can be and hopefully inspire other EOD techs and Airmen.”

Kimberling believes in leading based upon her Airmen’s differences.  

“When you approach say, an Improvised Explosive Device, there’s a thousand different ways to defeat it,” said Kimberling. “You can never just go at it [leading] one way for everybody. There are always different thought processes, which also help, because as a team leader, you don’t want to have a tunnel-minded vision for how you’re going to run operations.”

Since Kimberling was a kid, she always wanted to be in the Air Force.

“I used to go to my grandmother’s house every summer and I told her that I was going to own a red Jeep Wrangler and join the Air Force,” said Kimberling. “I never got a jeep. However, I did join the Air Force, and I love my job. I can honestly say that. There’s been some ups and downs but I still love it. I’ve had so many rewarding experiences and have met many wonderful people.”

Through all of the hard work and years in service, Kimberling still finds her career rewarding.

“It’s not just about being an EOD tech, I also love being in the Air Force, and what it means to be a part of its mission,” said Kimberling. “I also feel great pride in being a part of Kadena’s mission.”