Utah ANG leads way in CCAF graduations
By Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Giacoletto-Stegall, 151 ARW/PA
/ Published June 09, 2014
Salt Lake City --
Forty-eight members of the Air National Guard were awarded a record number of 53 degrees from the Community College of the Air Force in a ceremony held May 3, at the Utah Air National Guard base here.
The CCAF recognized the Utah Air National Guard for graduating more individuals in 2013 from their program than any other Air Guard unit in the nation. The number of annual CCAF graduates in the Utah Air National Guard has increased each year since 2011.
Master Sgt. Julie Nuccitelli, the 151st Air Refueling Wing's base training and education manager, attributed the increase in CCAF graduates to an increase in awareness of the CCAF degree program, support from base leadership, and participation with national organizations such as the University of Phoenix, Argosy University, DeVry University and Columbia College, among others.
"I think education is contagious, as more people see the benefits of the CCAF program, more Guardsmen take advantage of the classes we offer," said Nuccitelli.
151st Air Refueling Wing Commander, Col. Darwin Craig stated that one of his goals as commander is to encourage education for career development. "What's good for an Airman's career is good for the mission," said Craig.
Chief Master Sgt. Donald Johnson, chief of information systems with the 151st Communications Flight, said one reason he decided to pursue his CCAF associate degree was to set an example.
"If I'm not willing to put the time and effort into something, how can I ask anyone else to do it," Johnson said.
The University of Phoenix, in partnership with the Utah Air National Guard, offers five-week long courses on base for the convenience of Utah Air Guard members, as well as conducting office hours on base for members to consult about classes and enrollment.
A recent CCAF graduate, Staff Sgt. Jared Davis from the151st Civil Engineering Squadron, graduated with two degrees after completing the requirements for the public speaking course. "It feels great to achieve my goal of completing my CCAF degree," said Davis.
Earning an applied associate degree from the CCAF is also important for individual career advancement. Implementation of an upcoming policy will make it a requirement for promotion to Senior Master Sgt. or Chief Master Sgt., said Nuccitelli. The associate degree may then be transferred to the Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative Program in order to pursue a four-year degree.