Commentary

August 24, 2012

My educational journey: How could I say no?

Chief Master Sgt. David E. Huerd
Hanscom AFB, Mass.

I joined the military when the Iron Curtain was still up. My plan was to serve my country abroad and get an education.

My first duty station was Templehof Central Airport, Berlin, Germany. I initially focused on getting through my first standardization evaluation and completing my Career Development Courses. Once those were completed, the thought of taking college courses was replaced by the many activities within the walled city.

A couple years later, I met a wonderful woman and we were married. Soon afterward, we started planning a family. The topic of college soon occupied our conversations; I wanted to be a better husband and father.

You must remember, this was a time when online education was not available, but we did have computers. I decided to pursue the courses necessary to complete my Community College of the Air Force degree. I completed the requirements in four years and it was worth the time I invested.

Speaking of investments, I pursued my degree when tuition assistance was at 75 percent, not the 100 percent we take advantage of today. My self-confidence increased after I completed my degree as a staff sergeant back in 1991.

We left Germany and headed back to the states. I spent the next 14 years taking different courses without focusing on a degree plan. I could not find a subject that interested me.

In 2005, stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., I was mentoring some of my Tactical Response Force members on the benefits and rewards of pursuing a CCAF degree and additional education. When one of my Airmen showed he was interested in getting a degree, I explained to him how I obtained mine.

He then asked, “Are you going to get another degree?”

How could I say no?

I headed to the education center and enrolled in an online school and focused on finishing my bachelor’s degree in security management. In the summer of 2009, two assignments and several deployments later, I completed the requirements for the degree. Once again, my self-confidence was boosted.

I took another break from school. A year later, while speaking to my youngest son about high school and college, the subject of my education came up again.

How could I say no?

I enrolled in an online school and started working on my master’s degree in homeland security. Now, I am halfway completed with this degree and glad to be attending school again.

The Air Force provides us the opportunity to continue our education at home station or in deployed locations, and I have taken classes in both environments. Tuition assistance provides the funding, and most locations provide you the resources to pursue your educational dreams.

I am still on my educational journey; it has taken me many years, and I continue to challenge myself.

It is never too late to start or continue a degree program. Once you get started, it is easy to keep going. Motivate yourself to take the first step. I did. How can you say no?




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


 
 

 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - There is an old saying: “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and you feed them for life.” The same is true in developing character.  You can give a law or command...
 
 

The Emotionless Leader: trusted, respected by Airmen

“I don’t want to hurt her career …” “He’s the best NCO I’ve got. I don’t want to see him lose a stripe …” How many times have you heard someone in a leadership position make statements such as these when contemplating disciplinary actions when an Airman or NCO makes a terrible decision? Whether due...
 
 

A Chaplain’s perspective on sexual assault

Have you ever had your soul torn in two? In other words, have you ever been hurt at such a deep level that you don’t think you will ever be healed again? That is what happens with a sexual assault. It cuts deep into a person so that their very being is damaged in ways...
 

 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - We don’t like people to be insincere. But how do we know when a person is insincere?  George Orwell said long ago, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s...
 
 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: ‘Blurred Lines’: Is it all hype?

“Everybody get up, everybody get up, hey, hey, hey … hey, hey, hey … hey, hey, hey” and the lyrics go on. Many of you can hear the catchy tune and are singing the song in your head right now. Yes, it’s “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke in his chart-topping song. The chorus goes on...
 
 
Courtesy photo

100 pounds later: The new me

Courtesy photo A before and after photo of Master Sgt. April Lapetoda, who lost 100 pounds and has since completed a marathon and several half marathons. She is the superintendent of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affa...
 




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>