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From stripes to bars: Whiteman's enlisted commissioning fair

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Story by Amn Taylor Phifer on 04/19/2018
While officers decide what needs to get done, enlisted members determine how it gets done. For those who are ready for a change of pace and seek to make decisions in a leadership role, there are various commissioning programs available to ease the transition from stripes to bars.

As a way to educate Airmen on the available commissioning programs, an enlisted commissioning fair was held April 11, 2018, at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

"The purpose of the event was to allow enlisted Airmen the opportunity to explore the various commissioning avenues, as well as connect with officers who were successful in navigating those programs," said Charay Zimmerschied, the 509th Force Support Squadrons lead education specialist.

During the fair, officers explained the processes, requirements and challenges applicants may encounter.

"It was great to be able to sit down and speak face-to-face with officers who've actually been through it," said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Cadwell, an aircrew flight equipment technician assigned to the 509th Operations Support Squadron. "I got a lot of great information about the medical commissioning programs and the Air Force Academy."

Representatives who went through programs like the Nurse Education Commissioning Program, Officer Training School, and the Air Force Academy, attended the fair to provide encouragement and information to those interested in commissioning.

"Anyone transitioning from enlisted to officer should be open to learn," said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Anthokira Dobbs, who was prior enlisted. "Even though you come with experience from your enlisted time, remember you can learn something new from anyone."

Along with information from officers on how to progress and reach goals, the fair also provided Airmen with the opportunity to speak to financial and educational counselors.

"If you're planning to commission have a Plan A, B and C," said Zimmerschied. "Commissioning as an enlisted member is not easy; it takes a great deal of time, dedication and attention to detail to build a strong package to submit. You have to want it and commit to the process."

For more information about commissioning contact: Charay Zimmerschied at 660-687-1695.


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