Professional military education essential for a CCAF degree Published May 20, 2009 By Airman Carissa Wolff 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Senior Airman Chloe Rainey, 36th Medical Operations Squadron member and staff sergeant select, recently graduated from the Community College of the Air Force and says her professional military education was a critical stepping stone towards earning her degree. "Not many people get a CCAF degree without PME," Airman Rainey said. "My PME gave me 10 credit hours towards the 64 I needed to earn my degree." Classes an Air Force member receives during technical school, Airman Leadership School, Noncommissioned Officers Academy and the Senior NCOA are CCAF-affiliated and count towards a CCAF degree as credit hours, said Joseph Foster, 36th Force Support Squadron education office advisor. "PME is very important," Mr. Foster said. "Members with PME, the bulk of which is acquired in technical school, usually have only five credit hours to go to reach a CCAF degree once they have completed their five-level training." A CCAF degree is an associate's degree of applied sciences and is accepted at other schools towards higher level degrees. In order to get a CCAF degree, members must take civilian classes in addition to PME. The CCAF accepts credits from other schools or institutions that are accredited either regionally or nationally. According to Master Sgt. Craig Porter, 36th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, a CCAF degree is essential to career progression. "Completing a CCAF degree develops an Airman professionally, regardless of their Air Force specialty code," Sergeant Porter said. "An advanced education prepares Airmen for the increased responsibility and tasks they will encounter as they progress through Air Force ranks. For example, English classes will likely help Airmen to be more proficient in written documents such as reports, performance assessments and decorations. Additionally, a CCAF degree is a pre-requisite for Airmen who aspire to progress above the rank of master sergeant and should be done at the earliest opportunity in their career."