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61st MDS enlisted member selected for officer commissioning

An initial look of surprise turns to relief and pure joy as Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif.,(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

An initial look of surprise turns to relief and pure joy as Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif.,(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Relief is reflected on the face of Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson after she is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Relief is reflected on the face of Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson after she is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Relief turns to pure joy after Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program.  Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Relief turns to pure joy after Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson is notified of her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, presents a pair of gold bars signifying the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson upon her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, as Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC command chief, look on. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, presents a pair of gold bars signifying the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson upon her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, as Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC command chief, look on. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, presents a pair of gold bars, signifying the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant, to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson upon her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, presents a pair of gold bars, signifying the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant, to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson upon her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director, presents a certificate and letter of selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson, 61st Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director, presents a certificate and letter of selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command to Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson, 61st Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, Space and Missile Systems Center command chief, congratulates Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson on her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, Space and Missile Systems Center command chief, congratulates Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson on her selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program. Robinson is the 61st Medical Squadron's noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson, 61st Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif.,  holds her certificate and letter of selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command with Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson, 61st Medical Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic in El Segundo, Calif., holds her certificate and letter of selection for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program from Gen. John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command with Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE - EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- An enlisted member from the 61st Medical Squadron has been selected for Officer Training School through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program.

Staff Sgt. Katelin Robinson, 61st MDS noncommissioned officer in charge of Dental Logistics at the Los Angeles Air Force Base medical clinic, was notified of her selection for SLECP by Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander, Thomas Fitzgerald, Space and Missile Systems Center acting executive director and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC's command chief master sergeant.

"It was a sigh of relief," said Robinson, when asked about her reaction. "All of my hard work had paid off and I am so excited for the adventures to come!"

"Staff Sgt. Robinson is a natural leader who excels in her primary and additional duties and consistently performs at levels above her pay grade for a clinic that is responsible for over 2,500 members at 151 geographically separated units. She is without a doubt one of the most conscientious, responsible and dependable individuals I have worked with," said Turner in her letter of recommendation. "I have no doubt she possesses the confidence, professionalism and most importantly, the skills to be an outstanding officer. Her past performance, as well as her past achievements, confirm that she is a definite success and invaluable asset to the Air Force."

SLECP is a new initiative instituted in 2015 where designated Air Force senior leaders can directly select exceptionally performing and highly talented enlisted members for commissioning through OTS. While the more traditional commissioning options for enlisted members are still valuable and effective, this new addition adds a new tool for Air Force senior leaders to turn excellent Airmen into outstanding officers.

General John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, selected Robinson as AFSPC's candidate for this direct commissioning program.

The program is available to enlisted Airmen who are U.S. citizens between the age of 18 and 34 and follows eligibility factors outlined in Air Force Instruction 36-2005 paragraph 2.1, but is further qualified into two distinct phases designed for Airmen at different points in their education: SLECP-O, for people who already have a degree and SLECP-A, a scholarship for active duty personnel who have completed at least 24 semester hours and can complete a Bachelor's degree within three years.

According to Robinson, she will remain on active duty while attending an accredited school with an associated or affiliated cross-town Reserve Officer Training Corps program and will attend OTS after graduation.

"I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in health science and hope to continue studying healthcare through a university in the Dayton/Columbus, Ohio areas," said Robinson.

Airmen with bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees showing up in the enlisted structure is growing increasingly more common. Air Force senior leaders are responding by increasing opportunities for Airmen to use their gifts as officers.

"I am so blessed to have the opportunity of a lifetime to receive a commission. It has taken a lot of hard work and persistence to take me to where I am today," said Robinson.

"When five doors close, one door opens! It is important to never stop pursuing your passions, to seek out challenges when you start to feel complacent and to ensure as you are growing yourself you are taking your Airman right along with you," explained Robinson. "The support and confidence from my senior leaders has helped me develop into the Airman I am today, and I am forever grateful."