May 28, 2014
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Twenty-three members of the Air Force track and field team took part in the Academy's graduation ceremony this morning (May 28) and were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. These members of the Class of 2014 will represent the track and field program throughout the country during their initial assignments.
Three Falcons will be continuing their education this fall. Josh Nielsen will attend Uniformed Services Health Science University in Bethesda, Md., while Regan Rogers will head to Chicago to attend the Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine. Dan Bieber, who earned a coveted assignment in Special Tactics at Hurlburt Field, Fla., will first complete a masters' program in politics at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Three others will head to pilot training at various bases around the country. Michael Craig will train at Columbus AFB, Miss., while Gavin Owens will complete his training at Vance AFB, Okla., and Cort Rogers will head to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas, following a short stint as the administrative assistant for the track and field program.
Heather Shepard and Tim Urista will also remain at the Academy for their first assignments in the Air Force. Shepard will serve as an MTO and volleyball coach at the USAFA Prep School, following 60 days of "soaking up the sun in the Caribbean and South America", while Urista will complete a one-year special duty assignment in the Academy's Admissions Office, where he will focus on diversity recruiting.
While Annette Eichenberger's immediate plans over the next four weeks include "regionals, nationals and getting married", her initial assignment will be in Space Operations at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. - the same base where William Kent will work as a 32E Civil Engineer. Two other Falcons will be stationed in the state of California, as Alex Lindsay will be a financial management officer at Edwards AFB, and Kim Smith will work in hospital administration through the Medical Service Corps at Travis AFB.
A pair of Falcons will be stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. After getting married on June 14, Isaiah Bragg will return to his home state to begin his career as an aeronautical engineer, while Charlie Perkins, whose immediate post-graduation plans are "to find the first international mil-air flight with Alex Lindsay and see where that takes us", will work as an acquisitions officer.
Tasha Mayne and Matthieu Caldwell will open their Air Force careers with training toward their ultimate career fields. Mayne will head to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss., to complete a six-month Cyber Training (17D) program before her next assignment is determined, while Caldwell will begin his initial preparation as an intelligence officer at Goodfellow AFB, Texas.
The track and field team will be represented around the country, as the remaining nine graduates travel to Air Force bases throughout the United States for their first assignments.
Kassie Gurnell will work as a Personnel Analyst at Hanscom AFB, Mass., while Rachel Herald will work in logistics readiness at FE Warren AFB, Wyo., and Paige Shirley will focus on force support at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Becca Bauman will head to Eglin AFB, Fla., to work as a developmental engineer, while Alana Piccone will serve as an aircraft maintenance officer at Whiteman AFB, Mo. Elliott Beski will work in the financial management field at Moody AFB, Ga., and David Ptacek will work in the Office of Special Investigations at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.