ACSC class reaches major academic goal

by Kelly Deichert
Air Unversity Public Affairs

6/15/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- The Air Command and Staff College will recognize 1,001 graduates this week in ceremonies for the resident and distance-learning courses.

In a ceremony Monday at Polifka Auditorium, Lt. Gen. David Fadok, commander and president of the Air University, and Brig. Gen. Stephen Denker, ACSC commandant, awarded the degree of Master of Military Operational Arts and Science to 513 students.

The class included 75 international officers from 68 countries, 43 Soldiers, 10 Marines, 30 Sailors, 15 civilians, 10 members of the Air National Guard and 15 members of the Air Force Reserves.

"What you have accomplished is truly outstanding," said Maj. Jerime Reid, U.S. class president. "Ride this momentum and go out and take the world by storm."

In addition to naming the 54 distinguished graduates, students were recognized for a variety of achievements:

· Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award to Reid · Wright Brothers Officership Award to Maj. James Fee · Fit to Fight Award to Maj. Kevin Osborne · Brig. Gen. Robbie Risner International Officer Leadership Award to Lt. Col. Pierre De Goumoens · Commandant's Awards for Academic Achievement to Maj. Nicholas Dipoma, Lt. Col. Boon Ping Lau, Maj. Shawn Hodgin, Maj. Jonathan Wade and Wing Commander Philip Arnold ·

Commandant's Leadership Award to Maj. Mary Carnes · Commandant's Award for Excellence to Hodgin Col. Brian Killough, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, presented the class with the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base Commander's Trophy for intramural sports, the eighth year in a row ACSC was honored.

DeGoumoens, international officer class president, said his class was special since it achieved its academic goals, organized a 10th anniversary commemoration of 9/11 and contributed to the community through volunteer efforts.

"During my year at ACSC, I learned a lot and the captivating classes, thrilling seminars changed me and my vision of the world and the United States," he said.

Graduates from the online mastersdegree program will be recognized Saturday in Wood Auditorium. Forty-eight students are expected to attend, visiting Maxwell from as far away as Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England and Lajes Field in the Azores.

The class includes 488 graduates, with 262 active duty service members, 67 from the Air Force Reserves, 63 from the Air National Guard and 96 civilians.

ACSC began an online masters-degree program in 2007 to meet the needs of Airmen seeking education while balancing deployments, family obligations and career goals.

The program mirrors the resident program.

"Distance learning programs enable thousands more to complete this critical Professional Military Education at their own pace from locations around the globe," said Maj. Keith Bland, a course director for the ACSC distance-learning program.

"The program fosters the ability to encourage the development of higher-order thinking by challenging students to think critically and to exercise a combination of analytical and practical tools required as leaders charged with the nation's defense," he said.