Commentary

July 18, 2013

Education – it’s free, take advantage of it

Commentary by 1st Lt. Gregory Thomas
309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – One benefit we have as military members is the opportunity for a free education. Surprisingly, many individuals do not take advantage of this and go their entire careers without ever stopping by the education center. This is extremely common, but hopefully this article will provide some resources to those thinking about pursuing educational goals.

The right time for Airmen to begin is in the first term of serving. The first priority should always be to knock out the career development courses in order to understand the job. Once the 5-level is obtained, Airmen are authorized to obtain a Community College of the Air Force degree. Those days in tech school actually accounted for college credit, so Airmen already have a head start. Most career field tech schools account for all but five classes. By taking one eight-week course at a time, Airmen can earn an accredited associate degree in less than a year.

Many colleges offer self-paced online courses, making each class extremely flexible and obtainable by anyone, regardless of their specialty. As you finish your CCAF, you can then look into obtaining a bachelor’s degree. If you already have a CCAF or want to plan toward what you are going to do once you get one, look on the Air Force Virtual Education Center website and check out the ABC program. This program builds on a CCAF degree and allows for you to knock out your bachelor’s in 60 semester hours.

For NCOs looking to get their education, it’s harder now that they are in the role of a supervisor. Not only is job knowledge important, but they also have Airmen to watch over, mentor and groom to be future leaders. That should not be an excuse. Even taking one class at a time will make progress. To be successful, Airmen should sit down with a mentor and establish accountability.

Senior NCOs need to complete course 14 and CCAF in many career paths. Making senior master sergeant and chief are available only to those who have completed education requirements. Taking care of this now will only benefit a member later on.

This forum has a pattern, and now I speak to our senior NCOs.

I urge you to consider the benefits of being that mentor to our junior enlisted and constantly reinforce to them the importance of education. I urge you to not only inspire subordinates to see the importance of education, but get them excited about what they can accomplish. By now as a senior NCO, you do not need a lieutenant to tell you that your course 14 and CCAF should have been done long ago. However, if it is not, it is never too late to start.

The military is evolving, and education is more important than ever. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are established while going to college and pursuing an academic degree will only make our Air Force better. If you are thinking of “pushing the button” on retirement, consider this alarming fact from recent attendees of the job fair held on base. The majority of companies appreciate the experience gained in the military, however management positions on the outside require accredited degrees even beyond the CCAF. By getting a degree you are not only taking advantage of a free resource offered to you, but are gaining valuable knowledge that will benefit the Air Force now, and will give you a better job when you decide to start a second career.

I close with one last thought. It is your responsibility to pursue an education. It is not your supervisor’s or anyone else’s. If you are unsure where to start, contact the education center or send me an email. There are an endless number of possibilities when discussing what you can do. Currently Air Force Tuition Assistance covers $4,500 every year to cover classroom expenses. This money can be used to pursue certificates, associate, bachelor’s and even master’s degrees.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Local Briefs April 18, 2014

NARFE Chapter 1874 to meet April 21, noon – 1 p.m. – Golden Corral Restaurant Current and retired Federal employees, spouses, guests, and visitors are invited to join NARFE Chapter 1874 at the Golden Corral Restaurant, 6865 N. Thornydale Dr.  The April meeting will be Monday, April 21. (Senior menu $7.95)  Lunch starts at 11:30...
 
 
DiamondSharp_pict

Diamond Sharp April 18, 2014

Name/Squadron: Airman 1st Class Jessica Nail / 612 AOC (CPD) First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jamie Harwick Duty Title: ATO Production Technician When joined the AF: August 16, 2011 Hometown: Cambridge, Illinois Hobbies: Soccer, Pla...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Military child recognized by Arizona BGCA

A Sonoran Science Academy freshman was recently selected as the Boys and Girls Club of America Arizona Military Youth of the Year. David Zulli, son of Lt. Col. Daniel Zulli, 355th Fighter Wing base chaplain, competed against ot...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Grappling, pummeling, trapping: 162nd Airmen learn to ‘close with the enemy’

MARANA, Ariz. – The words on the gym wall summed it up best for 13 security forces specialists who trained at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site here March 17-21. “The defining characteristic of a ...
 
 

Air Force launches new program to capture innovative ideas

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation. Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role o...
 
 
AFSOUTH_pict

AFSOUTH sends training team to Colombia to prepare for Exercise ANGEL THUNDER

Capts. Aaron Cavazos and David Nagle, A-10 weapons officers assigned to the 355th Fighter Wing, recently returned from their second mobile training team (MTT) event this year with the Colombian Air Force (COLAF) to prepare for ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin