Military News

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Malmstrom Airman takes first steps toward commission

by Airman 1st Class Dillon Johnston
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

4/13/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- A 341st Security Forces Squadron member was accepted to the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 6, 2015.

Airman 1st Class Danallen Lee, 341st SFS member, first began his path toward being an officer in October 2014. He aimed to gain admission to the Air Force Academy prep school, an institution which takes enlisted Airmen and grooms them to thrive in the academy. His first hurdle was to gain a recommendation through his chain of command; however, this was not all too daunting.

"Lee's flight commander, 1st Lt. Chad Weaver, brought it to my attention and solicited my support," said Maj. Kelli Green, 341st SFS commander. "Weaver didn't have a hard time convincing me; it was quite clear that Lee was a perfect candidate."

Lee continued to move forward, clearing the different tests and prerequisites the academy laid in front of him.

"There was a pre-questionnaire, I had to do the SAT, and there was a whole application process as well," Lee said. "I had to get my commander's approval, my first sergeant's approval and a letter of recommendation from my commander."

Once the final pieces had been set in place, Lee just had to wait. When he finally got the news, both Lee and his leadership were ecstatic.

"I'm very proud of Lee and his accomplishments to date," Green said. "I know he has the ambition, character, fitness level and know-how to be an incredible officer in the world's most powerful Air Force."

The prep school is a pathway to one of the most prestigious schools on the United States, and although Lee has already made it this far, the 10-month school still has some challenges laid out for him.

"If you mess up, you won't get into the academy," he said. "But as long as you're doing well in the prep school, you should get a spot."

To Lee, the academy is a way to a new start for him, both education and career wise.

"(I hope to get) a good education and a good starting point for the rest of my life.

"I'd like to go into finance, I like money," he joked.

This interest in the financial side of the Air Force spawns from one of his more business-oriented life goals.

"I have this dream of mine," Lee said. "It's to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I hear the academy has one of the best management degrees in the country."

Beyond the educational benefits, Lee believes it will improve him as a supervisor or eventual commander.

"I just want to be a better leader and a better person," Lee said.

With a big challenge and dreams of a grandiose life ahead of him, Lee continues to maintain a humble outlook on life.

"I don't want to be famous," Lee said. "I just want to be a better man."

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