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30 Airmen earn CCAF degrees at Wright-Patt

  • Published
  • By R.J. Oriez
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Thirty Airmen crossed the stage of Carney Auditorium in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Nov. 15 to accept their associate of applied science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force.

The ceremony’s guest speakers stressed the importance of education to both the graduates and Air Force.

“The Air Force is asking you to do today what our Airmen have not been asked to do in the past. And that is to use your education, training and experience to further our national defense strategy,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alexius Reid, CCAF vice commandant and commencement speaker. “You are our competitive advantage because of what you know, and because of what you do.”

Reid went on to relay what a member of the German military and former colleague had to say.

“He said, ‘Every day I get to hear from you all, I’m blown away by work your NCO corps is allowed to do,’” she told the audience. “He said, ‘If my air force would be allowed to utilize its enlisted members in the same way you all do, we’d be lethal.’ Our coalition partners appreciate the value of our education, training and experience.”

Chief Master Sgt. Jamie Newman, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center command chief, was the honored guest speaker and also talked of the advantage an educated NCO corps gives the U.S. military.

“I hear it repeated over and over and over again: We are the difference to our adversaries,” Newman said. “‘We’ being the enlisted force, and some part of that is the education that you get.”

Newman also underscored the importance of education to the individual Airman.

“It helps shape the way we think, act and speak,” he said. “It helps you become a better person; it starts to show you not only what you know, (but) how much you really don’t know.”

Reid said the graduates will see benefits both in the Air Force and civilian life.

“With an associate degree at a minimum, your earning potential outside the gate goes up between ($5,000) and $8,000,” she said. “In the uniform, I see many commanders and first sergeants and others who sit on boards. … Your education is often a discriminator when they’re selecting who’s the next best pick of things.”

Reid urged graduates to push forward and continue their education.

“Continue the climb – don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t give up,” she told them. “Take a big breath and celebrate the day. Take the pictures in front of the green screen. But please don’t stop the climb, be it the vocational path where you are refining your technical expertise or the academic path where you continue to climb that ladder. Please don’t stop.”

Col. Christopher Meeker, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, reinforced that message.

“First and foremost, congratulations – what a great day and special occasion. I know how much work goes into that,” he said. “But like the chief said, keep going, right? Celebrate today and then keep pressing forward. Make yourself better every day.”

The new degree inspired Staff Sgt. Tasha Mangloña, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, to continue her education.

“It just motivated me and pushed me to keep going and not just stop in one place,” she said.

Below is the list of graduates from CCAF’s fall semester:

Aerospace physiology technology

Tech. Sgt. Bobby Allbritten

Air traffic operations and management

Master Sgt. Wendi DiBartolomeo

Aircraft safety systems technology

Staff Sgt. Steven Wineman

Aviation maintenance technology

Tech. Sgt. Justin Bunn

Staff Sgt. Daniel Miller

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Paine

Business administration

Senior Airman Norman Smith

Criminal justice

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Helma

Staff Sgt. Brandon Moore

Diagnostic imaging technology

Staff Sgt. Isabella O’Donley

Emergency management

Senior Airman Carissa Lovelace

Fire science

Staff Sgt. Remar Smith

Human resource management

Staff Sgt. Hayley Carizey

Staff Sgt. Ayao Hukporti

Information systems technology

Staff Sgt. Anthony Biagi

Staff Sgt. Timothy Charleson-Libby

Staff Sgt. Vanion Dale

Airman 1st Class Maitland Dethrow

Staff Sgt. Adriel Martinez-Alvarez

Staff Sgt. Trevor Miller

Intelligence studies and technology

Senior Airman Dione Connor-Burrows

Senior Airman Amber Harrison

Staff Sgt. Dustin Max

Senior Airman Chance Roye

Senior Airman Katchee Vedrine

Practical nursing technology

Staff Sgt. Kristin Betsch

Senior Airman Ernesto Castellanos

Staff Sgt. Fatimata Diop

Senior Airman Amber Thompson

Public health technology

Staff Sgt. Tasha Mangloña