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Airmen earn degrees and unlock their future

Members of the 103rd Airlift Wing receive their associate’s degrees in various fields during the Community College of the Air Force commencement held on Aug. 3, 2014, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The CCAF is now a requirement for enlisted Airmen to become a Senior Master Sgt. or Chief Master Sgt. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jennifer Pierce/Released)

Members of the 103rd Airlift Wing receive their associate’s degrees in various fields during the Community College of the Air Force commencement held on Aug. 3, 2014, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The CCAF is now a requirement for enlisted Airmen to become a Senior Master Sgt. or Chief Master Sgt. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jennifer Pierce/Released)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- Thirteen Airmen from the 103rd Airlift Wing walked across the stage during a commencement ceremony receiving their Community College of the Air Force diplomas during the drill weekend at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Aug. 3, 2014. Many family members and fellow Airmen attended the graduation, and Col. Jose D. Torres-Laboy presided as the commencement speaker.

"This degree was pretty important to me as I started it a long time ago and finally had the opportunity to finish it," said Senior Master Sgt. John Gasiorek, first sergeant for the 103rd Airlift Wing.

It's especially important now with the degree being a requirement for promotion to both Senior Master Sgt. and Chief Master Sgt. ranks. As senior noncommissioned officers, we have to lead by example, said Gasiorek.

Not only is the CCAF degree important for promotions, there are several other benefits for Airmen who earn the degree.

"The CCAF degree allows Airman to be eligible for the ABC program, is a promotion consideration, and is a civilian resume booster," said Capt. D. Elliott Draegor, education officer for the 103rd Airlift Wing.

The ABC program, or Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative, is a program that allows Airmen to use all 64 credits they receive from earning their CCAF degree and apply them toward a bachelor's degree with certain colleges. The colleges that accept the 64 credits for the ABC program are also all online, said Draegor.

"Everyone should consider getting the degree for their own development," said Gasiorek. "It was worth the effort and I see a lot of benefits from this degree not only in the military job, but my civilian job was well."

The thirteen Airmen who attended the commencement ceremony and received their CCAF diplomas, along with a few who could not attend the event are listed below.
  • Staff Sgt. Ryan Ahrens, Emergency Management
  • Chief Master Sgt. John carter, Aircrew Safety Systems Technology
  • Staff Sgt. Noe Castro, Criminal Justice
  • Tech. Sgt. Anthony Gagliardi, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Master Sgt. Christopher Gagne, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Garisto, Intelligence Studies and Technology
  • Senior Master Sgt. John Gasiorek, Criminal Justice
  • Tech. Sgt. Jarrett Gran, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Chief Master Sgt. Edward Gould, Human Resource Management
  • Master Sgt. Aaron Hann, Human Resource Management
  • Master Sgt. Christina Harvey, Human Resource Management
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph Hill, Information Systems Technology
  • Master Sgt. Andre Jaynes, Mechanical and Electrical Technology
  • Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Jenkins, Human Resource Management
  • Staff Sgt. Amanda Johnson, Allied Health Sciences
  • Staff Sgt. Justin Labrecque, Electronic Systems Technology
  • Staff Sgt. Daniel Leone, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Tech. Sgt. Louis Manfredi, Fire Science
  • Master Sgt. Joshua Marks, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead, Mass Communications
  • Tech. Sgt. Dennis Peterson, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Potvin, Electronic Systems Technology
  • Tech. Sgt. Amy Robison, Aircraft Armament systems Technology
  • Master Sgt. Daniel Robison, Information Systems Technology
  • Tech. Sgt. PauI Rozum, Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Tech. Sgt. Robert Walsh, Human Resource Management
  • Staff Sgt. Dustin Wonoski, Transportation
  • Tech. Sgt. Vincent Zotto, Health Care Management