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News > Enlisted Airmen looking to commission have several options
Enlisted Airmen looking to commission have several options

Posted 7/21/2009   Updated 7/23/2009 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

7/21/2009 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- Enlisted Airmen interested in earning a commission and serving as an officer have several options available to help them achieve their goal.

In fact, more than 10 commissioning programs exist for those looking for them, and they need look no farther than the RAF Mildenhall Education Center.

The education center has details on commissioning programs through various military and civilian schools, including the Air Force Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Staff Sgt. Paul Goolsby, a jet engine mechanic with the 100th Maintenance Squadron, found out just what it takes to go from enlisted chevrons to officer bars when he got involved in the Scholarships for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC program.

Sergeant Goolsby said he wanted to try for a commission because it presented a challenge for him. He had already earned his Community College of the Air Force degree, and some helpful advice coupled with a long, hard look at his career options led him to pursue to program.

According to literature provided by the Education Center, SOAR offers Active-Duty enlisted personnel the opportunity to earn a commission while completing their bachelor's degree as an Air Force ROTC cadet. Those selected separate from the active duty Air Force, join an Air Force ROTC detachment and become a full-time college student.

Sergeant Goolsby, who leaves soon to officially begin his journey toward his commission, said the process of getting accepted is complicated but doable for those who really want it.

"There's a six-page checklist that has to be entirely completed for the SOAR program," he said. "But it all starts with a commander's recommendation. If you don't have that, forget it."

Each program has specific requirements and deadlines, and some have very specific career paths, and some are not acceptable for those looking for pilot slots. The Education Center can provide details as needed.

The following Web pages contain information on the individual commissioning programs:

United States Air Force Academy's Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development

Airmen Scholarship and Commissioning Program

Scholarships for Outstanding Airman to ROTC

Professional Officer Course-Early Release Program

Airmen Education and Commissioning Program

Officer Training School

Air Force Doctor of Physical Therapy program

Medical Service Corps

Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program

Physician Assistant Training

Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 

Editor's note: For more information, contact the Education Center at DSN 238-3475.

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