Selfridge celebrates Community College of the Air Force graduates Published May 20, 2014 By SSgt. Samara Taylor 127th Wing Public Affairs SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- 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 Airmen earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in their Air Force Specialty Code. The CCAF enables enlisted members of the Air Force to use formal on the job training as well as leadership and management training they receive as they progress in their military career to apply toward a degree. The degree requires an Airman to take at least 15 credit hours of college classes through outside institutions of higher learning and requires 64 credit hours as a whole. The keynote speaker for the annual graduation ceremony was Master Sergeant Lyle Black, 127th Civil Engineer Squadron, he offered the graduates sound advice and congratulated them for their distinguished accomplishment. "Only 18 percent of enlisted Airmen earn their CCAF degree. As future leaders the more you educate yourself the more doors will open," said Black. Senior Amn. Thomas with the 127th Mission Support Group earned a degree in Contracts Management. He has served for three years in the Air National Guard at Selfridge. He was able to easily transfer his credits from his Business Administration degree toward meeting the requirements for his CCAF degree. "I initially joined the military for the education benefits," Staff Sgt. Natasha Gieraltowski of the 127th Force Support Squadron said, explaining why she decided to obtain her CCAF. "I am very proud." She also has an associate's degree in Liberal Arts. Among those who earned degrees this year through CCAF was one Airman who earned two degrees. Master Sgt. Heather Briggs of the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron earned one degree each in Education and Training Management and Logistics. She felt obtaining her CCAF degree was a source of accomplishment and a way to advance her career, while being a leader and role model for the Airman she supervises. This year's graduating class are: 127 SFS: TSgt Brewer, MSgt Hendricks, SrA Brian Zorn 191 MXS: SMSgt Badalow, SrA Tufts, MSgt Bellow (ret) 127 LRS: MSgt Briggs, TSgt Fort, SSgt Magro, MSgt Wolfinbarger 127 WG: CMSgt Dobson, TSgt Lijek 127 OSF: MSgt Fuller 127 FSS: SSgt Gieraltowski, TSgt Rhodes 127 AMX: MSgt Graves 127 CES: SMSgt Horvath, CMSgt Talaga, SSgt Vandriessche 127 MXG: CMSgt Meeks 127 MSG: SrA Thomas 127 MXS: SSgt Ramirez 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.