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966th AACS Airman earns four CCAF degrees in single year

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Tech. Sgt. William Woltmann achieved something rare. In fact, he is the first Tinker Airman in a Community College of the Air Force graduating class to do it. At the May 8 Tinker ceremony, Sergeant Woltmann will accept four associates degrees, which were completed in a single graduating class.

From August 2012 to February 2013, Sergeant Woltmann simultaneously pursued four degrees -- Instructor of Technology and Military Science, Information Management, Information Systems Technology and Avionic Systems Technology.

"When I look at it now, I see that I accomplished a lot in a short period of time and it reinforces to me that people who think they can't get it done, can. If you just apply yourself, you can get it taken care of," said Sergeant Woltmann, 966th flight chief and airborne mission systems specialist.

When Sergeant Woltmann received his assignment to the 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron in January 2012, he learned it was mandatory that he complete one CCAF degree within the next 12 months.

Having already worked in two other career fields -- communications navigation for the C-5 Galaxy and a special duty assignment as an overseas military postal worker -- prior to transferring to the 966th AACS, the sergeant was eligible to pursue two CCAF degrees. Upon cross-training into AWACS, he received eligibility for a third CCAF degree. Finally, the ability to pursue his fourth degree came when he became an instructor for the 966th.
"I didn't actually start pursuing my CCAFs until my 10-and-a-half-year mark in the Air Force," he said. "I just never had a strong desire to do it.

"I procrastinated. I had a myriad of excuses -- when I was younger, I got married and had three children. Then my focus became studying for promotion," the sergeant said.
"The catalyst to really make me get it done was going to the 966th."

After Sergeant Woltmann began pursuing his first AFSC CCAF, he said he wondered what it would take to get his second, third and fourth degrees. For many of his degrees, the required credits were mirrored in the other degrees.

"I started the ball and after it got going and I was in the habit of taking college classes, I just kept doing it," he said.

Sergeant Woltmann completed his degrees through Rose State College and American Military University, both regionally accredited universities.

"The fact that Sergeant Woltmann was able to fulfill his duties as a flight chief and a formal training unit instructor, while at the same time completing multiple advanced degrees is truly impressive," said Lt. Col. Daniel Brant, 966th AACS commander. "This accomplishment speaks very highly of Sergeant Woltmann and his commitment to professional growth and development."

With 149 credit hours between the four CCAF degrees, Sergeant Woltmann said he is now pursuing his fifth degree, an Associate of Arts degree in Enterprising Development from Rose State College. Through the state-funded Reach Higher program, the credits for the associates' degree will be applied toward a bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma.

He anticipates finishing the fifth associates' by spring 2014.