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Schriever Sentinel

Schriever office hosts CCAF graduation

By Marcus Hill | Schriever Air Force Base Public Affairs

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — More than 75 Airmen attended a Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony July 27, 2020 outside Bldg. 210 to celebrate 28 military graduates.

The graduation marked the first time the 50th Force Support Squadron’s Force Development Flight hosted the CCAF graduation.

The CCAF is a program that uses Airmen’s on-the-job training to assist them in obtaining an Associate Degree in Applied Science with traditional educational programs as part of a flexible degree program. Though it doesn’t directly impact an Airman’s ability to rise to senior noncommissioned officer, it’s factored in when promotions are considered.

The CCAF has more than 100 affiliated Air Force technical schools and each year awards more than 22,000 Associate Degrees from 71 programs, according to

Staff Sgt. William Chorpenning, 4th Space Operations Squadron training manager and guest speaker for the event, thanked everyone who made the event possible. Chorpenning also spoke about what the degree symbolizes and the importance of the achievement.

“Throughout your career and your life, it is known, you will face adversity,” he said. “The key to finding the motivation to overcome setbacks is knowing who you are, what you value and what your purpose is. Through this, you’ll find a deeper understanding of the importance of self-importance and achievement.”

Chorpenning also discussed the importance of goals and how they helped him become a better Airman.

“I was that co-worker you probably have who found no enjoyment in their job,” Chorpenning said. “I woke up, came to work, went home and repeated that cycle for almost four years before I began to pursue my original goal of education, which is where I found my meaning. Now, I’m on track to begin my Ph.D. in October of next year.

“I share this story with you to show I’m not the exception to the rule,” he continued. “Regardless of how big or small you think this achievement [graduation] is, it’s important you understand it is a true test of your own willingness to move toward your personal goals.”

Retired Col. Dave Geuting, Lance P. Sijan chapter vice president for Aerospace Education, and James Driscoll, 50th Force Support Squadron Education Center flight chief, presented the William H. Pitsenbarger Award to Senior Airman Bianca Alonzo, 21st Comptroller Squadron financial analyst. Selection is determined at the education office by a committee of individuals appointed by the base education officer.

“The Air Force Association presents the Pitsenbarger Award to deserving enlisted members during each Community College of the Air Force graduation,” Geuting said. “The committee considers job performance, scholastic achievement, education goals and leadership qualities. The Lance Sijan Chapter of the AFA provides a $100 monetary award to the local selectee.”

Chief Master Sgt. Boston Alexander, Peterson-Schriever Garrison command chief, followed the presentation of the Pitsenbarger Award and discussed how graduates should lead by example.

“You’ve invested in yourselves and, subsequently, by doing so you have validated our force,” Alexander said. “You have an obligation now to ensure those inside your silos do the same. Those who learn must teach, those who climb must both lead and follow.”

Col. Soleiman Rahel, Peterson-Schriever Garrison individual mobilization augmentee to the commander, wrapped up the ceremony by illustrating to graduates how their degrees represent more than an achievement of the moment.

“You’re now ambassadors of higher education, but I urge you not to stop there,” Rahel said. “Let this be the beginning of something great. Continue to pursue excellence in all you do. Don’t just let this be a degree. Use the tools you’ve learned here throughout your whole life.”

Community College of the Air Force graduates

1st Space Operations Squadron

Staff Sgt. Kyle Weyand, Information Systems Technology

Staff Sgt. Cherrise Streaty, Air and Space Operations Technology

17th Test Squadron

Tech Sgt. Jose Vargas, Air and Space Operations Technology

21st Comptroller Squadron

Senior Airman Bianca Alonzo, Financial Management

25th Space Range Squadron

Tech Sgt. Ryan Seamster, Electronic Systems Technology

50th Civil Engineer Squadron

Tech Sgt. James Guardiano, Maintenance Production Management

Staff Sgt. Shayne Brooks, Maintenance Production Management

50th Security Forces Squadron

Master Sgt. James Hunt, Human Resource Management

Tech Sgt. Joel Brooks, Criminal Justice

Staff Sgt. Manuel Gonzalez, Criminal Justice

Tech Sgt. Nicholas Burdick, Criminal Justice

Tech Sgt. Nicholas Jenich, Criminal Justice

Tech Sgt. Michael Jones, Criminal Justice

Staff Sgt. Xavier Cordova, Criminal Justice

50th Space Communications Squadron

Senior Airman Chase Didricksen, Information Systems Technology

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Meade, Information Systems Technology

527th Space Aggressors Squadron

Staff Sgt. Dustin King, Information Systems Technology

Delta 8

Senior Airman Cassidy Basney, Intelligence Studies and Technology

Senior Airman Christopher Baker, Air and Space Operations Technology

Senior Airman Devin Harlow, Air and Space Operations Technology

Staff Sgt. Eric Leishman, Electronic Systems Technology

Staff Sgt. George Juarez, Electronic Systems Technology

Senior Airman Justin Perry, Air and Space Operations Technology

Senior Airman Robert Donkel, Electronic Systems Technology

National Space Defense Center

Tech Sgt. Herbert McDonald, Intelligence Studies and Technology

533rd Training Squadron

Second Lt. Tanner Bush, Air and Space Operations Technology

Schriever Inspector General

Staff Sgt. John Harrison, Air and Space Operations Technology

United States Army Special Operations Command

(Army) Sgt. Kevin Cruz, Criminal Justice

Schriever office hosts CCAF graduation
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