Reserve wing breaks graduation record

Master Sgt. Darnell Johnson, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th Airlift Wing commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Master Sgt. Darnell Johnson, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th Airlift Wing commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Master Sgt. Kuentin Smart, 46th Aerial Port Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Master Sgt. Kuentin Smart, 46th Aerial Port Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Staff Sgt. Savanna Wesley, 512th Security Forces Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during 2016 and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Staff Sgt. Savanna Wesley, 512th Security Forces Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during 2016 and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Master Sgt. Scott O’Brien, 709th Airlift Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th Airlift Wing commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Master Sgt. Scott O’Brien, 709th Airlift Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th Airlift Wing commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Tech. Sgt. Sean McGahuey, 512th Force Support Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Tech. Sgt. Sean McGahuey, 512th Force Support Squadron, shakes hands with Col. Scott D. Durham, 512th AW commander, during the wing's Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, Dec. 3, 2016, Dover Air Force Base, Del. The wing surpassed their goal of awarding 100 CCAF degrees during the year and awarded 109 degrees. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Renee Jackson)

Dover Air Force Base -- DOVER AIR FORCE BASE-The 512th Force Support Squadron’s Education and Training Office presented 109 Community College of the Air Force degrees to Airmen from more than 30 career fields during their graduation ceremony Dec. 3 at the base theater here.

This is the highest number of graduates in a single year for the 512th Airlift Wing. Before 2016, the wing’s best year was 2012 with 70 graduates. A decade earlier, there were even fewer.

“The significance of this year is that we’ve had 109 graduates compared to seven in 2000,” said John Young, an education technician who joined the 512th FSS team in 2000. “This is a major improvement on the number of folks wanting to pursue that degree.”

Wanting to earn a degree and knowing how to do so are two very different things. Senior Master Sgt. David Jackson, the 512th FSS force development chief, and his staff helped Airmen by had analyzing the CCAF progress of the wing. They identified 400 of our reservists who were within 19 credits of graduating with their CCAF degree.

“Through my team’s efforts researching and analyzing student records, we were able to reach out to these reservists and help them complete their CCAF degrees,” said Jackson.

Earning a CCAF degree is one of the first steps in education for reservists. Young said he wants to set them on the path for future success.

“The 512th FSS goal is to help Airmen receive their degree in their first six years of service,” said Young. “We want them to have a stepping-stone towards a bachelor degree whether they continue to serve in the Air Force Reserve or join the civilian work force.”

According to Air University’s website, the CCAF partners with more than 108 affiliated Air Force school and serves approximately 300,000 active, guard and reserve enlisted personnel, making CCAF the world's largest community college system.

Furthering education helps advance the career of Airmen. Completing a degree became a requirement for promotion to E-8 and E-9. Jackson hopes to continue advancing even more careers in the future.

“If we could break this record of 109 graduates in the future, that would be great for our wing and our enlisted corps,” said Jackson.

Reservists who want to pursue their CCAF degree or have questions about their degree program status can get assistance by contacting the 512th Education and Training office at (302) 677-3517 or by emailing them at 512FSS.DPMT@us.af.mil.