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Time Too Be Counted

Staff Sgt. Ruben Zamora, Master Sgt. Dermoth Higgins, Staff Sgt. Sariethia Lemos, Staff Sgt. Donald Demarco and Staff Sgt. James Lutes participated in the 442nd Fighter Wing?s first CCAF graduation ceremony Jan. 10.

Staff Sgt. Ruben Zamora, Master Sgt. Dermoth Higgins, Staff Sgt. Sariethia Lemos, Staff Sgt. Donald Demarco and Staff Sgt. James Lutes participated in the 442nd Fighter Wing?s first CCAF graduation ceremony Jan. 10.

Fresno ANGB, Calif. -- According to military records, 48 out of 790 enlisted members at the 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno, CA, have either a Baccalaureate Degree or a Masters Degree. I congratulate those 48 individuals, as well as all our members currently enrolled in a college program. This article is not addressed to those 48 graduates. Nor is this article addressed to those who have decided not to attend college. Hopefully, you made an informed decision about college and your life and I will not use this space to try and persuade you differently. This article is addressed to those of you who have graduated from college but have not updated your military records to show that fact. This article is addressed to the college graduates not counted in the 48.

I know you're out there, because I'm one of you.
I graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2006 and have not updated my military records. By not doing so, I am doing a disservice to myself, the 144th Fighter Wing and the Air National Guard.

Disservice to myself should be obvious. My military RIP, the RIP submitted with promotion paperwork and job applications, does not show my true level of education. True that a one page resume is also submitted for promotions and job applications, and that resume shows your education level. However, now there is a conflict between your resume and RIP. Which document do you think military members, who don't know you, are going to lean on when this conflict arises? Even if you believe they will side with the resume, why give them a chance to discard what you achieved?
Disservice to the 144th, and the Air National Guard as a whole, may not be as obvious.
According to Chief Nall, at NGB, there are Air Force leaders who believe that Air National Guardsman do not poses the same level of education as their active duty counterparts. Who can blame them when records show that 6% of the enlisted members at the 144th have a college degree? Now I don't know if 6% is low or high when compared to other guard units or even the active duty Air Force; but the fact is it can easily be higher. So let's not worry about where we rank, let's just make sure the number of enlisted college graduates in the 144th is accurate.

What I'm asking, and the unit is asking, is that those of you who have graduated from college, please update your military records so they reflect your level of education. Run a copy of your College Degree and take it to our Base Training/Education Office. The personnel there will be more than happy to update your records. It is that simple. No transcripts. No postage. No fuss. Just take a copy of your degree to Base Training/Education.

It is time for us college graduates to be counted. It is time for us to join the 48 that have been carrying the load. It is time to put "Service before Self" and take your college diploma to the Base Training/Education office.