Getting to know the new AFIMSC vice commander

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Col. Kelly Sams assumed her new role as the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center vice commander earlier this month.

The self-proclaimed Air Force brat comes from a military family but calls Florida home. Her “unique” career has taken her all over the world in service to her country. 

We recently asked the colonel a few question about her life, career and thoughts about joining the AFIMSC team.

Time in service?
25 years and counting

I am an Air Force brat; my father is a retired chief master sergeant who served for 26.5 years. I call Florida home, entered the service there and intend to retire there, just not quite sure exactly where yet. We are enjoying traveling to different cities to try them out.

Can you please tell us a little about your career leading up to this point?
My career has been unique and a bit non-standard for a former personnel officer now force support officer. I commanded a squadron twice (deployed and home station) and took a new group command opportunity for colonels at the Air Force Academy. It was amazing. I also served two tours at the Pentagon, working in executive support roles and later serving as the senior military assistant to the acting Under Secretary of the Air Force. I have seized every opportunity and don’t regret any of them!

What about your new role has you the most excited?
The opportunity to learn more deeply about all that goes into taking care of our Airmen, Guardians, their families and our installations. I am eager to support the mission of AFIMSC … serving the Air Force and the Space Force!

What do you want the AFIMSC team to know about you?
I am high energy, quick to smile, eager to learn and truly care! I am looking forward to getting to know all the people, functions and organizations who are AFIMSC.

What do you like most about serving in the Air Force?
Proving daily that leadership is action and not just words and setting the example as an authentic leader who cares and is eager to learn from everyone. I have learned a lot and eager to learn more.

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have been to five of seven continents thanks to the Air Force. On my bucket list are the other two: South America and Africa. Yes, I have been to Antarctica – I have lots of cool pics to prove it!

Is there anything you would like to add?
My husband David and I are very proud of our two children: U.S. Space Force 2nd Lt. Aidan Sams and Abby Sams, a political science major graduating college a semester early in December of this year. They are hearty Air Force brats and have weathered 12 moves to become strong, open-minded adults. They make us proud every day!

To learn more about Sams’ career, read her official bio at