By Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz, 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 21, 2014
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- A record-number of airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing received associate degrees during a Community College of the Air Force, or CCAF, commencement ceremony held here Feb. 8.
Thirty-three members of the wing graduated with CCAF associate degrees at the ceremony. Members of the wing, families and senior staff attended the event, which was the largest graduating class in recent years to graduate at Pease.
Retired Master Sgt. Clermont Boutin received his second CCAF degree in Financial Management after recently retiring with 32 years of service. Boutin also has a CCAF degree in Aircraft Powerplant Systems and a bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management from Franklin Pierce University.
Despite the additional work, Boutin stressed the importance of the additional education to his career and professional development. He urged all members to pursue their degrees.
"I always stress to people, go to your CCAF representative and see what you need to get your degree," said Boutin. "It's getting more and more competitive on a yearly basis to be in the Air Force, the Air National Guard, or the Reserves."
It was the first CCAF commencement ceremony held since 2006.
According to Master Sgt. Travis Allen, 66th Force Support Squadron, plans are in the work to hold an annual graduation ceremony in January.
Allen said the CCAF began granting associate degrees in 1977 and is the only college dedicated to education of members of the military.
The CCAF has awarded 423,430 degrees in applied science and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention and support the career transitions of Air Force enlisted members.
"2013 was a record breaking year for CCAF -- awarding a total of 20,661," said Allen.
Staff Sgt. Kristina N. Johnson of the 157th Security Forces Squadron was another of the 32 graduates. Johnson, a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire at Manchester with a degree in business, received her CCAF degree in Criminal Justice.
"I'm officially setting a great example for younger airmen and older airmen of all ages and ranks to further pursue their education along with taking the necessary steps to become a senior NCO," said Johnson.
Cheered on by their fellow airmen, friends and family, the graduates will go on to use their degrees in higher education to benefit both their military and civilian careers as well as their surrounding communities.
Community College of the Air Force Class of 2013
157th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Glen G. Meyers, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Tech. Sgt. Justin K. Webb, Aviation Maintenance Technology
260th Air Traffic Control Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. Richard S. Reed, Air Traffic Operations and Management
Staff Sgt. David Turner, Air Traffic Operations and Management
157th Civil Engineering Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. William E. Hardekopf, Fire Science
Senior Airman James M. Jurta, Fire Science
157th Force Support Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. Tammy L. Lakemper, Human Resource Management
Education and Training Mgt
Senior Master Sgt. Anthony J. Reagan, Aircrew Safety Systems Technology
N.H. Joint Force Headquarters
Master Sgt. Jason T. Hill, Avionics Systems Technology
157th Logistics Readiness Squadron
Master Sgt. Craig S. Cote, Logistics
Tech. Sgt. Saul M. Davidson, Education and Training Management
Master Sgt. Stuart W. Ernst, Transportation
Staff Sgt. Marc R. Fillion, Logistics
Senior Master Sgt. Jason K. Griffith, Logistics
Tech. Sgt. Dwight Olewine, Financial Management
157th Comptroller Flight
Master Sgt. (retired) Clermont J. Boutin, Financial Management
157th Medical Group
Senior Airman Tyler P. Grady, Health Care Management
Master Sgt. Shawn B. Theberge, Information Systems Technology
Allied Health Sciences
157th Maintenance Operations Flight
Staff Sgt. Shaena G. Meyers, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Tech. Sgt. John W. Michniewicz, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Tech. Sgt. Keith F. Russo, Aviation Maintenance Technology
157th Mission Support Group
Master Sgt. Carolyn M. Chute-Festervan, Human Resource Management
Master Sgt. Regina M. Rockwood, Contracts Management
157th Maintenance Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Eric E. Danard, Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology
Senior Airman Johnathan W. Holmes, Aviation Maintenance Technology
157th Operations Group
Tech. Sgt. Lucinda Erwin, Information Management
157th Operations Support Flight
Master Sgt. Michael J. Girouard, Aviation Operations
2nd Lt. Michael G. Petrin, Intelligence Studies and Technology
157th Security Forces
Staff Sgt. Kristina N. Johnson, Criminal Justice
Master Sgt. David J. Pridham, Criminal Justice
Senior Airman EJ N. Reed, Criminal Justice
Master Sgt. Darrin P. Sargent, Human Resource Management
Tech. Sgt. Timothy A. Theberge, Criminal Justice