From exec to select

  • Published
  • By By 1st Lt. Benjamin Aronson
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass visits a multitude of Air Force bases each year, but after visiting the 15th Wing, one Airman’s future changed forever.

Tech. Sgt. Fredrick Tini, 15 WG executive assistant, was Chief Bass’ personal selection for the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program - Officer Training School and chosen to receive a commission.

The SLECP-O allows senior Air Force leaders to directly select exceptionally performing, highly talented enlisted Airmen for commissioning through OTS.

Tini found out a few months later after Chief Bass’ visit that he was chosen from a group of ten Airmen force-wide while helping fix a pretend problem on a virtual call.

“When I sat down to set up the call, I saw Chief Bass on,” said Tini. “It didn’t register in my mind and I thought it was one of the Coffee Talks or a Chief’s All Call. I started problem-solving and that’s when Chief Bass started talking to me and told me I had been selected.”

After a small office celebration, Tini's leadership released him for the day to tell his wife the news and show her the 2nd Lieutenant ranks he was given.

“When I showed her the lieutenant tabs, she immediately started crying,” said Tini. “She had seen how much work I had put into it.”

Tini, whose military journey started in 2012 after working a series of entry-level jobs, decided to join the U.S. Air Force after his U.S. Army-retired father recommended it to him. Even from the beginning of his Air Force career, Tini wanted to be an officer.

Senior Master Sgt. Endrako Carr, 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant superintendent, guided Tini while he completed his associates', bachelor's, and submitted his packages for OTS, all while with a child on the way.

Tini first met Carr at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, when Carr was a Tech. Sgt.

“It’s a lot harder to tell your Senior [Master Sgt.] that you haven't started on your dream after telling them a few years ago,” said Tini.

Tini, an F-22 avionics technician by trade, was chosen to serve as an executive assistant at the wing level after applying to positions outside his normal. Tini saw firsthand how officers’ decisions impacted everyone down to the lowest ranking Airman. This experience motivated him to try to commission, to help affect change and help create a healthy culture.

“No matter how far away the goal is, if you start towards it, it will get closer,” said Tini.