Lt. Col. Kimberly Ford, retired, Air Force, 1990-2016

I was the first African-American woman to fly the C-17 Globemaster in the Air Force. I earned the Air Medal for support of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. The biggest challenge I faced was being among the fewer than 1 percent of Air Force pilots who are African-American women. I had mentors from all walks of life throughout my career who have supported me and encouraged me, including Lt. Col. Bill Holloman, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed African-American aviators from World War II.

We honor you, Kimberly Ford.

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