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    58 Bradley Airmen receive CCAF degrees

    EAST GRANBY, Conn. -- When people think of the military, they may not automatically think of continuing education. They are more likely to focus on the more physical aspects of the military before thinking of the brains behind the operation. For Airmen at the 103rd Airlift Wing, however, continuing education is equally important as physical training and career expertise.

    In 2019, Bradley is celebrating 58 new graduates of the Community College of the Air Force. The CCAF is a continuing education program offered to all guard, active, and reserve Air Force personnel that offers Associate of Applied Science degrees. In fact, it is the world’s largest community college program, graduating more than 22,000 Airmen annually.

    The CCAF program was founded in 1971 when the USAF sought to gain college accreditation for Air Force Specialty Career training. Six years later, the U.S. Commissioner of Education granted the CCAF the ability to grant official college degrees. Today, all Airmen are encouraged to obtain their CCAF degree in a field related to their AFSC, and government and military officials are working to open admission to the CCAF to all military branches.

    Two of Bradley’s graduating class this year include Master Sgt. Theresa Righi, Financial Management Technician assigned to the 103rd Comptroller Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Zachary Crawford, Security Forces Craftsman assigned to the 103rd Security Forces Squadron.
    “Getting my CCAF degree has pushed me toward getting my Bachelor’s Degree,” Righi said. “It made me focus more on my studies, and it got me thinking that I need my Bachelors.”

    Righi graduated the CCAF with her Associate’s Degree in Financial Management, and is currently studying Psychology at Post University.
    Righi said she believes she can use her CCAF degree to be a better leader. Both Financial Management and Psychology have classes in management, so she has been able to tie what may seem as two opposite educational fields together.

    She also believes that having her CCAF degree will make her a better mentor to younger Airmen.

    “I want to use my education to focus on working with other people and giving back,” Righi said. “Even just knowing the process you have to go through to get your CCAF degree will help me help my Airmen.”
    While Righi was studying to master Financial Management, Crawford was working to obtain his CCAF degree in Criminal Justice.
    Crawford began his education in his home state of Illinois at McKendree University in Springfield. He graduated in 2009 with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and then found his way to Bradley Air National Guard Base while looking for a career in his field.

    For Crawford, having his CCAF degree meant having a leg up on his competition both inside and outside of the Air National Guard. He believes that both his experience in the SFS and his education in criminal justice is equally important when it comes to rank progression and qualifying for his dream job.

    “If I decided to go for a job in the DEA or FBI, or become an analyst, they would see that not only do I have my bachelor’s degree, but I have another degree that makes me more competitive,” Crawford said.
    Crawford takes great pride in his recent accomplishment, and knows his squadron leaders are proud of him and the four other SFS graduates of Bradley’s 2019 class.

    Criminal Justice and Financial Management are only two of 71 different degree programs offered to Airmen by the CCAF. Congratulations to the enlisted personnel who graduated from Bradley’s 2019 CCAF class!



    Date Taken: 09.07.2019
    Date Posted: 10.10.2019 16:09
    Story ID: 347339
    Location: US

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    58 Bradley Airmen receive CCAF degrees