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Record number of airmen receive degrees

Senior Master Sgt. Tammy L. LaKemper receives her Community College of the Air Force degree from Chief Master Sgt. Brenda Blonigen during the 2014 CCAF commencement ceremony, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. February 8, 2014. Thirty-three members of the wing graduated with CCAF associate degrees at the ceremony. (N.H. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Senior Master Sgt. Tammy L. LaKemper receives her Community College of the Air Force degree from Chief Master Sgt. Brenda Blonigen during the 2014 CCAF commencement ceremony, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. February 8, 2014. Thirty-three members of the wing graduated with CCAF associate degrees at the ceremony. (N.H. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

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

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