Airmen receive CCAF degree

  • Published
  • By SSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Twenty three enlisted members of the 127th Wing received their Community College of the Air Force diplomas during a ceremony at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
The degrees earned ranged from Air & Space Operations Technology to Weather Technology and were awarded to Airmen from career fields from around the Wing.
      "This was an important career milestone for me," said Senior Master Sgt. Jonai Jones-Renfroe, food services supervisor with the 127th Services Flight, who earned a degree in Restaurant, Hotel & Fitness Management.
Jones-Renfroe will mark 25 years in the Michigan Air National Guard later this year. She said over the years, deployments and other things delayed her from working toward the degree.
     "But this was important to me. As I am moving nearer to the end of my career, the CCAF degree was an accomplishment I wanted to be able to achieve," she said.
Jones-Renfroe encouraged junior Airmen to work aggressively toward earning the degree.
     "It is an incredible opportunity that is made available by the Air Force," she said.
The keynote speaker for the annual graduation ceremony was Col. David Augustine, vice wing commander of the 127th Wing. The colonel told the graduates that the CCAF degree sends a clear message about those who hold it.
     "CCAF prepares the world's best expeditionary air and space force leaders," Augustine said. "(This) shows the commitment you have made to stand above the rest."
Staff Sgt. Nikitas Kalafatis was one of three aircraft electrician with the 127th Maintenance Squadron to earn a degree during the ceremony. He served for almost four years on active duty in the Air Force and then left the service to move back to his hometown area.
     "I found out I missed the service," Kalafatis said, explaining why he decided to enlist in the Air National Guard about two years ago. "I enjoy the people and working on the aircraft. The CCAF degree is a nice extra benefit."
Among those who earned degrees this year through CCAF was one Airman who earned two degrees, Master Sgt. Jeffrey Doak of the 191st Maintenance Operations Flight, who earned one degree each in Aviation Maintenance Technology and Maintenance Production Management.
     Unique among the U.S. Armed Forces, the CCAF is the only federally-chartered degree-granting institution exclusively serving enlisted personnel. Since the CCAF was created in 1972, more than 308,000 associate of applied science degrees have been awarded to Air Force personnel. In addition, college credits earned via skill level training, professional military education and other formal Air Force training have allowed thousands of Airmen and Air Force veterans to complete associate's and bachelor's degrees in civilians colleges, trade schools and universities.