Kim Campbell was born on June 6, 1975, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up in San Jose, California. She entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1993, and was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force on May 28, 1997. Her first assignment was an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to complete her Master's degree in International Security Studies at the University of Reading and then a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of London from October 1997 to October 1999. Lt Campbell next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded her pilot wings at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, in December 2000, followed by service as an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot with the 75th Fighter Squadron at Pope AFB, North Carolina, from December 2000 to May 2005. Her next assignment was as an A-10 Project Officer and Instructor Pilot with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from May 2005 to June 2008, and she then attended U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from June 2008 to June 2009. Maj Campbell served as Deputy Chief and then Chief of the A-10 Operational Training Development Team at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, from June 2009 to February 2011, followed by service as Director of Operations for the 357th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan from February to June 2011. Lt Col Campbell served as Commander of the 355th Operations Support Squadron at Davis-Monthan from July 2011 to July 2012, and then as Deputy Chief of the Regional Plans and Issues Division at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from August 2012 to August 2013. Her next assignment was as an Air Force Fellow with the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., from August 2013 to June 2014, and she is currently serving as Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Pentagon.
Her Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
Captain Kim N. Campbell distinguished herself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as an A/OA-10 fighter pilot, 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 332d Expeditionary Operations Group, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing at Ahmed Al Jabar Air Base, Kuwait on 7 April 2003. On that date, at North Baghdad Bridge, Iraq, flying as Yard 06, Captain Campbell's professional skill and airmanship directly contributed to the successful close air support of ground forces from the 3d Infantry Division and recovery of an A-10 with heavy battle damage. While ingressing her original target area, Captain Campbell was diverted to a troops-in-contact situation where enemy forces had positioned themselves within 400 meters of the advancing friendly forces and were successfully preventing the lead elements of the 3d Infantry Division from crossing the North Baghdad Bridge. Unable to eliminate the enemy without severe losses, the ground forward air controller had requested immediate close air support. After a quick situation update and target area study, Captain Campbell expertly employed 2.75 inch high explosive rockets on the enemy position that had been threatening the advancing forces, scoring a direct hit and silencing the opposition. During her recovery from the weapons delivery pass, a surface-to-air missile impacted the tail of Captain Campbell's aircraft. Immediately taking corrective action, she isolated the hydraulic systems and placed the A-10 into the manual reversion flight control mode of flight and prepared for the long and tenuous return flight to Kuwait. Captain Campbell's aviation prowess and coolness under pressure directly contributed to the successful completion of the critical mission and recovery of a valuable combat aircraft. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Campbell reflect great credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.