Citizen Airmen from Patrick earn CCAF degrees
By 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 05, 2016
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Twenty-one Reserve Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing here received their Associate of Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force Dec. 4 during a ceremony at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute here.
During the ceremony, Col. Brett Howard, the 920th RQW vice wing commander, presented the diplomas while 920th RQW Command Chief Timothy Bianchi presented special coins to each graduate.
Several friends, family members and fellow airmen attended the ceremony. Howard addressed the graduates and thanked the guests for their support of the new graduates’ Reserve careers and educational goals.
“I recognize how hard you’ve worked to make this accomplishment come true and certainly recognize that you couldn’t have don’t this without the support of your families,” Howard said. “This took a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of effort.”
He said the CCAF benefits the members who receive their degrees, but also to the Air Force as a whole.
“Getting your education enhances mission effectiveness by making you a better technical expert and more competent leader,” Howard said. “That’s what your commanders want.”
A total of 53 wing airmen recently graduated, but many were unable to attend the ceremony due to mission requirements, personal obligations or because they are assigned to one of the wing’s geographically separated units at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore.; and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
The commencement speaker, retired Chief Master Sgt. Johnie Stevens, congratulated the graduates and said he is proud to work with such committed and driven Airmen. Stevens, the training and program acquisition manager for the 45th Space Wing here, graduated with his Associate of Applied Science degree in personnel administration from the CCAF in 1992.
“We are here to congratulate you because in the midst of serving our great country, and while working toward this degree, you have had to carve out time for studying while balancing school, military life and continuing with other distractions,” Stevens told the graduates.
Three graduates received the William H. Pitsenbarger Award, which is awarded to the top graduates who are also pursuing bachelor’s degrees. The award is sponsored by the Air Force Association and comes with a $400 grant.
CCAF degrees are all conferred as Associate in Applied Sciences, however, degree program titles mirror each Airman’s Air Force specialty. On occasion, some Airmen present the knowledge and proficiency levels required for the award of a second or subsequent degree. For example, an Air Force Reserve personalist can receive their Human Resource Management degree. If they cross train into Finance, they could earn their Financial Management degree as well. Two Airmen at the ceremony attained this status.
The 920th Rescue Wing is an Air Force Reserve combat search-and-rescue located unit in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Its primary mission is to rescue critically injured troops off the battlefield. The wing also provides space support as well as local search-and-rescue support when requested by local and federal agencies.