BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - There are often more events than hours in the day for Chief Master Sergeant Teresa Clapper. It's the nature of the job when you oversee roughly 5,600 airmen. Clapper is the Command Chief of the 2nd Bomb Wing.
"I get asked did you ever aspire to be a Chief? Absolutely not," explained CCM Clapper, "When I made Chief it was a very humbling experience. I always share with our young airman you take every rank with where it's at, and you give it the best that you have. You earn that every single day, and be prepared for the next step."
A lesson she's learned firsthand.
"I wasn't really ready to go to college yet, and I knew I wanted a steady job and one day finish my degree, so I joined the Air Force to serve four years," she recalled, "I told my dad I'll do four years and then come home."
26 years later, she now sits at the pinnacle rank for enlisted airmen.
"It's been an awesome experience I wouldn't change it for anything."
Her journey not always easy.
"Most of the time when I ran into issues like that it was more of a people trying to be brotherly, or fatherly and hover more than push me down," said Clapper, "So the biggest challenge was to overcome that stigma of the little sister, the daughter, women don't do that kind of stuff from the cultural biases, unintentional."
Clapper's career has taken her from a small town in Oklahoma, across the country and around the world.
"I spent a year in Korea, I spent two years in Turkey which was awesome because I got to take my family. I spent time in Jordan and Kuwait and Qatar and Bahrain, places honestly as a young girl didn't realize were on the map. I've gotten to see a lot of different cultures and it's really been a lot of fun."
Driven by faith and family.
"I like to say I'm a wife, I'm a mother and I'm an airman," expressed Clapper, "At the end of the day when I walk off here and I take this uniform off I want my family there but all three of those priorities they drive me every day to do my best."
Living proof of the success you can achieve by first believing in yourself.
"There's a whole world out there and you just have to be willing to risk going out and finding it."