Graduates honored at 1st annual CCAF degree ceremony at Ellington Field Published Nov. 8, 2015 By Senior Airmen Chasity Lollis 147th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs October 4, 2015 -- The 147th Reconnaissance Wing at Ellington Field in Houston held its first ever ceremony during Octobers Unit Training Assembly in honor of its Community College of the Air Force graduates. "The Air Force puts a lot of emphasis on furthering your education," said Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Cornitius, command chief for the 147th Reconnaissance Wing. "It takes a lot of time and effort to earn a degree and we are extremely proud of our graduates. It didn't make sense that they weren't being recognized." The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 in order to meet the demands of the Air Force's expeditionary environment and at the same time help airmen achieve their educational goals by capitalizing on job-related training and education as part of flexible degree completion programs. Late nights and early mornings are an all too common occurrence while attending college classes and working a full time job. When a demanding military service schedule is added to the mix, including mandatory training, deployments and traveling, it makes earning a degree seem nearly impossible. The CCAF is a federally chartered degree-granting institution that serves the United States Air Force's enlisted total force. They partner with over 108 affiliated Air Force schools, 82 education service offices located worldwide and more than 1,500 civilian academic institutions to serve approximately 300,000 active, Guard and reserve enlisted personnel, making CCAF the world's largest community college system. The college annually awards over 22,000 associate in applied science degrees from 68 degree programs. Before this ceremony, the individual's certificate was either received in the mail or had to be picked up at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. "We intend to make this ceremony an annual event," said Cornitius. "Hard work and dedication don't go unnoticed around here and we wanted to make sure our members knew that. Excellence in all we do is an Air Force core value that should always be recognized."