Nurse commissions as an officer in the Air Force Nurse Corps
Story by A1C Parker McCauley on 08/09/2019
Second Lt. Christina Renkoski commissioned into the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps on July 22, 2019, at the 509th Medical Group Clinic at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
Prior to commissioning Renkoski worked as a nurse at the 32nd Surgery Center in Joplin, Missouri, and received all of her qualifications needed to continue her career with the Air Force.
She explained her inspiration for serving.
“My nephew and my son are both in the Air Force, my son is currently in Korea, he is a part of the maintenance squadron fabrication flight,” said Renkoski.
Her son is Senior Airman Robert Novak, who is assigned to the 51st Maintenance Squadron at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
“Those two basically inspired me to do this and encouraged me a great deal,” she added.
Renkoski said she felt both excited and anxious after swearing in.
Maj. Patricia Williams, the acting chief nurse with the 509th MDG administered Renkoski’s oath of office.
Renkoski’s recruiter, Tech. Sgt. Mark Curry, an Air Force health professions recruiter with the 342nd Recruiting Squadron from Overland Park, Kansas, rendered the first salute to her after she performed the oath.
Renkoski will be going to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama for the five and a half week Commissioned Officer Training course before heading to her first duty station at Eglin AFB, Florida.
COT is a program within Officer Training School(OTS). It provides a training path for officers who have commissioned into careers such as medical, chaplains or legal where they are already trained and certified.
Curry elaborated on some of the qualifications for a commission like Renkoski’s.
“They have to meet all the basic physical requirements just like anyone else who’s applying for Air Force service,” said Curry. “So we do all those checks up front and then on the health profession side there’s an application, procedures that they go through where they submit all their credentials, letters of recommendation, resume, things of that nature.”
Curry said applicants apply to a board after they have their package put together and then if they’re selected they’ll be given a date to ship out to COT.
He also explained the support he receives from the 509th MDG. Lt. Col. Matthew Pfeiffer, the chief nurse with the 509th MDG, handles the coordination of everything including interviews and acts as a point of contact for any other support Curry requires.
Going through the full process took Renkoski approximately a year and a half and highly encourages it.
To learn more about COT and the direct commissioning process go to: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Holm-Center/OTS/Commissioned-Officer-Training/?[nextlink]=[previouslink] or email Curry at: email@example.com.