Education Matters – Air Force Alma Mater

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead
  • 103 Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Members of the 103rd Airlift Wing who completed their studies in the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) received their diplomas May 14, 2011, during a ceremony at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. Family, friends, co-workers and dignitaries attended the event to support the graduates of the Fall 2010/Spring 2011 class.

"The CCAF represents one of the Air Force's most unique benefits, providing Airmen with the opportunity to earn college degrees through their military service," said Capt. Elliotte D. Draegor, personnel officer, 103rd Mission Support Flight, who emceed the event.
The CCAF degree benefits both the individual and the unit, said Col. Thomas Powers, commander, 103rd Mission Support Group.

"It's good for commanders, because now we have an educated workforce working for us and we know that they are striving and trying to become better Airmen and officers in our wing," said Powers.

"As far as I'm concerned, the only way to get ahead in life is with education," said Powers.

And with that being said, the two graduates then received their diplomas signifying that they were on their way to get ahead.

Senior Master Sgt. John DiBattista, fabrications and elements supervisor, 103rd Maintenance Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Michael Dow, medical administrator, 103rd Medical Group both received their CCAF degrees.

Interestingly though, Dow received two degrees at the same time which, according to Draegor is very rare.

Being in the military made it easier to get the degrees, said Dow, who plans on using his CCAF degree as a stepping stone to his bachelor's in intelligence management.

The Community College of the Air Force offers 67 degree programs corresponding to five general areas of Air Force occupations. Each degree program consists of 64 semester hours and combines Air Force education and training with a core of general education requirements transferred from civilian education sources.

The college was activated in 1972 to gain academic recognition for technical training conducted by Air Force schools. The CCAF is the largest community college in the world and is the only community college in the Department of Defense.