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AUAB airman graduates during deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Constantine Bambakidis
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

After overcoming hurdles in his personal life, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicholas Kremposky, a KC-135 maintainer, managed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree during his time on deployment here at Al Udeid Air Base.

Formerly a B-52 crew chief, Kremposky switched from active duty to the reserves through the Palace Front program, and presently he works with the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron.

After he finished his work on the flight line, Kremposky would go straight to studying as he finished his last term of college classes. He graduated on May 20, 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Politics.

“I had to take all my finals and I had to wrap up my school projects out here,” Kremposky said. “It was just kinda crazy. I just had to keep my head in the books and recognize that I was already at the end of the tunnel.”

Kremposky faced challenges on the path to getting his diploma. He was greatly impacted by the loss of his mother during his first semester of classes in 2019.

“My family was there for me and helped me remain strong. I owe them everything,” Kremposky said. “I also knew my mom wanted to see me finish.”

Shortly afterwards, the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed life as we know it.

“Classes went strictly virtual, so that was another hurdle,” Kremposky said.

While continuing his time in the reserves, and after completing a highly competitive internship program, Kremposky deployed to Al Udeid Air Base for his second time.

“Fast forward 2-3 years, I got out here,” Kremposky said. “I opted to deploy instead of attending my own graduation. I love coming out here and seeing the big mission.”

His bachelors degree isn’t the end of his studies, however. Kremposky’s goal is to become a pilot, and he’s already taking steps to get there, even while deployed at AUAB.

“I actually got accepted into the masters program out here, I’ve got a few years of GI bill left, I figured I’d keep learning and continuing my education,” Kremposky said. “The pilot selection process is pretty competitive.”

Kremposky says that the skills he learned as an airman, and the friends he’s made have helped changed him for the better.

“Initially, from basic training, ever since then i’ve been much more resilient as a person, very well rounded. That camaraderie has always been such a big support for me,” Kremposky said. “The stuff that they instill in you, the leadership and roles, you learn to become a leader but also a follower.”