Military News

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Superintendent one of two PACAF NCOs selected for SLEC Program

by Tech. Sgt. John Gordinier
11th Air Force Public Affairs

11/18/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The day started out as a normal work day for Master Sgt. Abby Keffer, 611th Air Operations Center Strategy Plans Division superintendent.

But in mid-afternoon she received a call from U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, informing her of, and congratulating her on, selection for commission under the new Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program.

"General Goldfein is an American war hero and I was shocked to hear his name when I answered the phone," Keffer said. "He introduced himself over the phone as our new vice chief of staff and said he wanted to be the first to congratulate me on my selection for Officer Training School.
"I was so excited, I jumped up and down."

Sergeant Keffer is one of only two senior non-commissioned officers selected from the U.S. Pacific Air Forces through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program.

The SLECP allows designated Air Force senior leaders to directly select exceptionally performing, highly talented enlisted members for commissioning through OTS.

Unlike other commissioning programs, this program allows senior Air Force leaders to choose a SNCO based on performance, ethics and character.

"Being selected for OTS is a dream come true, and it's all thanks to God, my supportive husband, and the wonderful mentors and teammates who helped guide me toward success," Keffer said. "Becoming an officer is something I've always aspired to do and I'm honored to take the opportunity to apply my experience to lead teams in a new and different way."

"One of the proudest moments I have had as a commander ... to see Master Sgt. Keffer's leadership team help her achieve one of her life goals is truly amazing," said Col. Harlie Bodine, 611th AOC commander.

Keffer said she expects to attend OTS in early 2016.

Upon graduation, she will be a lieutenant and already has future aspirations.

"As an officer, I will have an increased capacity to serve," she said. "I will work hard to lead and mentor a broader scope of future warfighters and equip them with the skills necessary to fly, fight and win."

She plans to achieve her goals by applying the experience and expertise she gained from her experiences in all three tiers of the enlisted ranks.

She said SNCOs are vital to managing resources and translating leaders' direction into specific tasks and responsibilities their teams can understand and execute.

"Yes, [the transition] will be a change, but I'm up for the challenge," Keffer said.

"Unfortunately for us, OTS candidate select Keffer will not be able to immediately return to the 611th AOC following her commission," Bodine said.

She has desires to pursue a career path that maximizes her interaction with people because that is what she enjoys the most and explains why she is such a natural leader, he added.

She said she wishes to explore public affairs, personnel or similar career fields which focus on interacting with other people on a daily basis.

"My commander, Colonel Bodine, said it best, that this is a 'team' win," Keffer said. "I'm so thankful to the 611th AOC, the command and control community, and the 11th Air Force team for their support."

"Sergeant Keffer is the epitome of the complete Airmen we must have as the leaders in the Air Force, facing the most volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment," Bodine said.

"I know she will do great things and I'm 100 percent confident whatever career field she is selected for will be lucky to have her."

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