CCAF degrees awarded

Service members earning their Community College of the Air Force degree wait in line before the CCAF graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. Fifty-six Airmen, four Marines and a Sailor graduated the program that is the Air Force equivalent to getting an associate degree. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

Service members earning their Community College of the Air Force degree wait in line before the CCAF graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. Fifty-six Airmen, four Marines and a Sailor graduated the program that is the Air Force equivalent to getting an associate degree. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

Guests and graduates watch the Community College of the Air Force graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. The Top 3 hosted the event to recognize individuals who completed the Air Force’s equivalent to a two-year degree program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

Guests and graduates watch the Community College of the Air Force graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. The Top 3 hosted the event to recognize individuals who completed the Air Force’s equivalent to a two-year degree program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

U.S. Air Force Retired Chief Master Sgt. Ed Bendinelli, Community College of the Air Force graduation guest speaker, speaks at the CCAF graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. Bendinelli spoke about how an education can open possibilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

U.S. Air Force Retired Chief Master Sgt. Ed Bendinelli, Community College of the Air Force graduation guest speaker, speaks at the CCAF graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. Bendinelli spoke about how an education can open possibilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing commander, speaks at the Community College of the Air Force graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. During his speech, Downs highlighted Airmen that completed their CCAF under special circumstances such as working a second job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing commander, speaks at the Community College of the Air Force graduation at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 12, 2017. During his speech, Downs highlighted Airmen that completed their CCAF under special circumstances such as working a second job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Top 3 hosted a Community College of the Air Force graduation at the parade field May 12, to recognize individuals getting the Air Force equivalent to an associate degree.

Fifty-six Airmen, four Marines and a Sailor graduated.

“Higher education is always important, because the military doesn’t last forever,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Sirita Weaver, Navy Center for Information Warfare Training Detachment instructor. “If you haven’t started your education yet, as far as getting a degree, get one, because it’s never too late to get one.”

During the ceremony, Staff Sgt. Chadir Shivers, 17th Security Forces Squadron unit deployment manager and resource advisor, received the Air Force Association Pitsenbarger Award, which is a one-time grant provided to selected top Air Force enlisted personnel graduating from the CCAF who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree. It recognizes the student’s activities that indicate excellent leadership, citizenship, teamwork, community service, personal development and dedication.

Also, Staff Sgt. Ernest Coney III, 312th Training Squadron instructor, received this year’s Colonel Charles Powell Warrior Award. Powell and his wife created the to honor CCAF graduates who have displayed the highest degree of professional military excellence.

“I was on active duty for 15 years before I got that message,” said retired Chief Master Sgt. Ed Bendinelli, CCAF graduation guest speaker. “Education helped me to live out a dream. It change my life. Don’t let this be your last college experience. There is just no telling where being educated can take you. Take it from a guy who knows, life is just full of all kinds of possibilities.”

For more information about obtaining a CCAF degree, contact the base education office at 325-654-3314.