For Lieutenant leadership isn't just an action, but an attitude

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
The late Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi once said that "Leaders are made, they are not born." This quote never rang more true for 1st Lt. Kim Atkins, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

"Both my grandfather and dad served in the Army as infantrymen," said Atkins. "My mother is currently a first sergeant at Dover AFB and my aunt is serving in the Army Reserves and used to be a drill sergeant; so my work ethic was instilled into me."

Starting at an early age Atkins was groomed for leadership. She served as the flight commander in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and was the captain on her cross country and track teams in high school. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and worked as a guidance counselor's assistant and nurses' assistant at her school.

After graduating, Atkins accepted an ROTC scholarship to the University of Delaware, where she would regularly lead the joint color guard and help train the field training preparation flights.

"I loved being a part of JROTC," said Atkins. "I had an awesome instructor who pushed me to continue it into college."

Upon graduating from college, Atkins left for officer training school. There she would face various obstacles; one of the biggest--being underestimated by her peers and instructors. This, as a result, would light an innate fire pushing her to become the ROTC Iron Woman for fitness excellence.

"I along with a male was named the top in fitness out of 350," said Atkins. "I like to prove people wrong."

After receiving her commission and completing technical school, Atkins was assigned to MacDill's 6th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight. She would later work in readiness and mortuary affairs before finding herself as the SARC.
"Upon my arrival to MacDill, my goal was to be a professional first," said Atkins. "I came here with the intent to not only improve my leadership, but also my followership and be my personal best for everyone's benefit."

To further add to her resume, Atkins was recently accepted to become an instructor at OTS. She will depart MacDill and head to the course this summer, where she will be evaluated as she leads her first flight.

"I'm super excited and I hope to keep growing as a leader and a follower," said Atkins. "I'm going to make sure to put my best foot forward and be an example because as a friend once told me 'attitude determines altitude.'"