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