Air Force Seniors Graduate from Academy

May 23, 2012

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Twenty-three members of the Air Force track/field and cross country teams took part in the Academy's graduation ceremony this morning (May 23) and were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. The ceremony at Falcon Stadium featured a speech by President Barack Obama and an air show by the famed U.S. Thunderbirds.

Several of the Academy's newest graduates shared their first assignments with GoAirForceFalcons.com.

Six Falcons will head to pilot training in the upcoming year. Jess Barton, Rob Drye and Auriele Fain will travel to Columbus AFB, Miss., while Phaelen French will attend pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas. Nick White will also travel to Texas, traveling to Randolph AFB for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) training. Emily Cotharn, who will travel to Pensacola, Fla., for pilot training next year, will remain at the Academy until January working in the athletic department with the track and field team.

Three Falcons will continue their education in graduate school. Katie Carroll will head to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to study electrical engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Kimber Shealy will head to Boston, Mass., to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, while Paige Blackburn will continue her education in civil engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.

Bryce Bergman and Alex Zubey will remain close to the Academy, as their first assignments will take them to Peterson AFB, Colo. Bergman will be going into the civil engineering field, while Zubey will serve as an acquisitions officer. Three Falcons will head to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss., for their first assignments. Sean Herbison and James Cole will attend Cyber Warfare Operations Training, while Tawny Lambuth will become a Force Support Officer.

Several other Falcons will be stationed around the country for their first assignment. Rachel Gebauer will be completing an operational experience tour in missiles, where she will first attend training at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., before heading to Minot AFB, N.D. Manny Smith will be working in the space operations field at Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts, while Jim Walmsley will be working as an acquisitions manager at Maxwell Gunter AFS in Alabama. Rachel Thomas will be stationed at Eglin AFB, Fla., where she will work as an acquisitions officer in the armament center.

Jared Barkemeyer, Max Lutton, Alexa Ramsier, Kyle Schwochow and Jordyn Stoddard also graduated today, but their first assignments were not available.

However, the 2012 track and field season is not over yet for eight members of the program that marched today. Bergman, Blackburn, Cole, Drye, Herbison, Shealy, Walmsley and Zubey will head to Austin, Texas, tonight to compete at the West Preliminary of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which begin tomorrow (May 24) and continue through Saturday (May 26).