NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Community College of the Air Force awarded Airmen their degrees during a commencement ceremony May 3 at The Club.
Two-hundred-seventy-two Airmen from Nellis AFB, Creech AFB and the Nevada Test and Training Range met the requirements to receive their associate degrees and were presented their diplomas in front of family and friends.
The ceremony however, almost did not happen. Due to sequestration, the Air Force directed education offices across the Major Commands to cease hosting the CCAF graduations.
“Several of our responsibilities have been cut back, one of them being CCAF graduations,” said Alice Patton, 99th Force Support Squadron Education Services Flight chief. “CCAF graduations were too important to lose, so I went to the Top III for help.”
Seeing the importance of higher education and the benefits of sharing a ceremony to celebrate each member’s accomplishment, the Nellis Top III decided to step in and ensure the commencement ceremony would still happen.
Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Behling, 99th FSS superintendent, explained their involvement in helping the education center.
“The education center staff was [reduced] to the point to where graduation ceremonies were not an option. The Top III stepped in and assumed the role,” Behling said. “This is the first graduation the Top III has sponsored, from coordination to the foundation of the function.”
“We’ll continue to support graduations as long as there is a need to,” Behling added.