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Comm NCO trades stripes for bars

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
An NCO from the 36th Communications Squadron was selected Oct. 22 for a slot at Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Johnson, 36th Communications Squadron ground radar NCO-in-charge, will take his near 12 years of experience to a new career field, space and missile ops, and to a new tier in the rank structure.

"I'm looking forward to a new challenge," Sergeant Johnson said. "I've been a ground radar guy ever since I came in. I've been working on the same equipment. I think the officer corps has its challenges like the senior NCO corps does. I'll get to experience things a lot of people don't get to experience and [use my experiences] to help other enlisted Airmen in [pursuing OTS]."

When he initially joined the Air Force, Sergeant Johnson said he had not really planned to go to college but as the years went by, his stance changed and he began pursuing an education.

"I thought about [OTS] after I started going to college but never really did anything about it until I got [to Andersen AFB]," Sergeant Johnson said. "I didn't really start planning for OTS until I started working with some of the officers here [who were] prior enlisted. They were a really big influence on me."

When the release came out Oct. 22, Sergeant Johnson cited his selection for OTS as a surprise.

"The original release was scheduled for Sept. 17, but [the release] was delayed," Sergeant Johnson said. "Right before the release came out, I found out they were only planning to take 42 people [which was about] an 8 percent selection rate. I didn't really expect to make it."

This was Sergeant Johnson's first attempt at applying for OTS. When he began building his package for submission, he recognized just how tough the application process was to accomplish.

"The application process is [basically] a test in itself to make sure you get it right," Sergeant Johnson said. "You have to submit all your college paperwork, transcripts and school information. Then, you take the Air Force Officer Qualification Test, which is pretty much the [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] on steroids. The application form itself includes your duty information, you have to write an essay and you have to have to have a commander's interview, [similar] to an EPR-style interview where you have bullets and grading criteria by your commander."

Sergeant Johnson also had to provide an applicant profile containing his assignments and any awards he had received in his career. His selection to OTS brings credit to both himself and his squadron.

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