MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
What happens when a goal you have feels so far away? Does it become impossible or do the trials and tribulations make victory taste sweeter? One Airman at Minot learned the answer to that question and showed others what hard work can achieve.
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jessica Ramsay, 5th Bomb Wing Legal Office civil law paralegal, was selected for the prestigious Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program in December 2022. She was one of only two Airmen selected by Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, U.S. Strategic Command commander and former commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, for a spot in the program.
“I was overwhelmed with joy, it feels unreal,” said Ramsay. “I’m so very blessed and grateful to all those that helped me and saw my potential to be an officer.”
SLECP allows Air Force senior leaders to select exceptionally-performing, highly-talented enlisted Airmen to receive a commission through Officer Training School. SLECP-A, the program into which Ramsay was selected, is for candidates who do not possess a bachelor’s degree. This program provides an opportunity for enlisted members to attend college in-person to complete their degree while in active-duty status and proceed to OTS after graduating.
“I was in a video teleconference with Gen. Cotton and Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith when they announced that I was selected for the program,” said Ramsay. “I wanted to become an officer since the beginning of my career, but because I didn’t have my citizenship I could not. Though the experiences I learned as an enlisted Airman will be invaluable.”
Although she joined the Air Force as a non-U.S. citizen, through her hard work she became a naturalized U.S. citizen and revamped the process for Minot Airmen seeking naturalization. That process is now being used for all Airmen seeking naturalization across the Air Force.
When asked what kind of leader Ramsay would like to be, she responded that she wants to be a proactive leader that focuses on the Air Force’s greatest asset: people.
Inspiration came from many sides, but the person who inspired her the most was an old neighbor, a retired lieutenant colonel who piloted the B-52. Through his mentorship she decided she would like to be a part of the Air Force. Ramsay hopes to have him “pin” her when she officially becomes an officer.
Upon completion of OTS, Ramsay will trade her role in the legal office for a career in the intelligence field.
No one can say how much work will be required to achieve a certain goal, but just like Ramsay, the determination to never give up and push through all obstacles can eventually lead to success.