Women’s History Month SPOTLIGHT on Black Women Veterans: Lt. Col. Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell

Photo Credit:
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ashley Wood – 2008

Meet Lt. Col. Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, the 1st African-American Woman Fighter Pilot in the history of the United States Air Force. Lt. Col. Kimbrell, flew the F-16 Fighting Falcon during combat missions in Operation Northern Watch. Stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, NV she is a member of the 78th Attack Squadron and serves as an MQ-9 Pilot and Mission Commander.

Becoming Lt. Col. Kimbrell:

Lt. Col. Kimbrell was born in Lafayette, Indiana, the youngest of four children, to Guyanese parents, who moved to the United States for education opportunities. Her parents later became naturalized U.S. citizens by the time Kimbrell was born, April 20, 1976. Her family later moved to Parker, Colorado. It was during this time, while attending the fourth grade that Kimbrell decided she wanted to become a fighter pilot! Kimbrell took her first flight lesson at age fourteen, and later joined the Civil Air Patrol. She also worked at air shows and earned her private pilot’s license.


  • Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in 1998
  • Holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Engineering
  • Earned her pilot wings a year later in August, 1999
  • Holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Touro University.

Military Career:

  • Commissioned in 1998 after graduating from the USAF Academy
  • Attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, TX
  • Awarded her pilot wings in August 1999
  • Completed Introduction to Fighter Fundamental training at Randolph AFB, TX November 1999.
  • August 2000, graduated from her initial F-16 training at Luke AFB, AZ
  • Becoming the first African American female fighter pilot in the USAF.

Learn More:

To read more about the amazing Lt. Col. Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell visit any of the following links:


19 January 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawna_Rochelle_Kimbrell

Until Next Time…#AimHigh


Write from the Heart,

{Just Being} Candice Maria

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