Prior to becoming a TSA officer, Kimberlee Green from Idaho’s Pocatello Regional Airport (PIH) worked in retail while attending Idaho State University in the culinary arts. In a seemingly unrelated career move, Kim followed the advice of family members who told her about a TSA job announcement and urged her to apply, thinking the position would be a good fit.
They were right! Recognized as the 2020 TSA Officer of the Year, Green is a go-getter – motivated and ambitious. She is a Model Officer, a respected designation awarded to officers who attain the highest performance and skill levels while serving with integrity, respect and commitment. She displays professional pride handling a variety of additional administrative duties while holding certification as checkpoint and checked baggage officer at PIH.
Exceeding expectations is just the beginning for Green, who doesn’t mind being stretched out of her comfort zone. Rather than viewing a lack of knowledge or skills as a barrier, Green doubles down to learn and gain in-depth understanding. Not easily deterred by the hard-knock, trial and error approach, Green doesn’t mind teaching herself, but often reaches to her network for collaboration.
“By seeking ways to improve myself, I have learned skills I never thought I would have in life, such as working with Excel and other computer programs,” said Green. Her curiosity drove her to create better ways to track and display officer test data and trends, threat mitigation metrics and career development.
Her care for her colleagues is what spurred her to create a professional development resource for Team Idaho. “Within TSA, caring for someone means you are a great mentor and you want to help each other to be the very best person they can be by teaching them and guiding them every step of the way,” said Green who serves as an on-the-job training coach for new hires.
Inspired by a TSA manager who worked on a similar project at another airport, Green immersed herself in learning the technical aspects of creating professional development website and researched creditable developmental resources for fellow officers who, like her, want to improve themselves. With four areas of concentration – competencies, leadership, promotions and self-assessment – the site assists officers in building a roadmap for promotional opportunities.
Most recently, Green took over TSA timekeeping duties for the state of Idaho, assuring her colleagues their payroll is processed accurately and on time. But with all her administrative work aiding state leadership and fostering improvement, her smile widens when she talks about serving passengers at PIH.
At the small airport built on the site of the Pocatello Army Airfield, a World War II training base, Green and her fellow officers saw a steady stream of business travelers before the pandemic. The regularity of passengers’ weekly business trips made them familiar acquaintances, and Green becomes animated when describing service to them.
“I’m kind and attentive to others and genuinely care about them,” said Green. Her excellent screening skills, as recognized by her successful performance during covert testing, is surpassed only by her kindness to all she encounters. “I think that’s why my family thought I’d be a good fit.”
Why does being a TSA officer matter?
What I do matters because not only am I protecting the traveling public, I am also doing other things behind the scenes to help my coworkers. I am a caring person and am happy to be able to help out on both ends, with the travelers and also my coworkers.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know passengers on a personal level, and knowing that what I am doing on a daily basis is ensuring that they are able to travel safely. No matter the reason they are travelling, for work or for personal reasons, I know that I am playing a part in them getting to their destinations safely.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I feel anticipating challenges and driving results is the most challenging part of being a TSA officer. I’m always trying to look to the future and be proactive. A great way to do that is by looking at ways to improve my skills, whether it be by teaching myself or by reaching out to others for help.