Enlisted to officer: Altus Airman handpicked by CMSAF for SLECP

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Connor Bish, 97th Air Mobility Wing noncommissioned officer in charge of command and control operations, was selected by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass for the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program - Active Duty, Nov. 21, 2023.

The SLECP allows designated Air Force senior leaders to select enlisted members with exceptional performance to commission through Officer Training School.

Bish, alongside leadership from the 97th AMW, received a personal congratulations from Bass over a video conference call.

“Something that really stood out in your letter to the board was your focus on wanting to contribute to the success and growth of our Air Force as a defender of this nation and taking on this responsibility,“ Bass stated to Bish. “As we look at our nation today and what our Air Force needs to be, we absolutely need leaders like you who are ready to take the charge and continue to make sure that your Air Force is ready to defend our nation.”

The desire to lead is what drove Bish on his decision to apply for the program.

“As a staff sergeant, you'll only see around three to five Airmen under your supervision at any time,” he said. “Commissioning is how I wanted to move forward to have the largest impact when it came to mentorship and development. As an officer, this route could offer me more opportunities to change lives and give perspective to new Airmen.”

He also stated that his grandfather was another motivating factor in his decision, as he also enlisted in the Air Force and later commissioned.

“My grandfather came into the Air Force and served in the missile fields for the first 14 years of his career before he could no longer serve in his career field due to medical reasons,” he said. “Instead of retraining, he opted to pursue a commission. He went to the OTS and received his commission as a finance officer.”

It will be decided later which career field Bish will be commissioned into, but he expressed his gratitude to have been chosen for this special opportunity.

“I wasn't expecting to be selected, he exclaimed.”  “I'm beyond excited. This is the trajectory that I wanted for my career and to have made it this far after all the effort is both humbling and a huge boost to how I feel about my career.”