Following her dream: Whiteman SF Airman commissions into medical field
By Tech. Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel, 509th Public Affairs
/ Published August 20, 2018
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- A U.S. flag, a firmly spoken oath, a strong salute and a dream come true as a security forces NCO became a commissioned officer here on Aug. 10, 2018.
The brief ceremony, however, represented years of hard work that led now-2nd Lt. Jasmine Scott to this moment.
Scott enlisted in the U.S. Air Force five years ago to follow in her parent’s legacy of service and little could hold her back. Taking the first available slot to basic training she soon found herself at security forces field training in San Antonio, Texas.
“She said, ‘Mom, I want to go, I want to do something outside,’” recalled Scott’s mother, U.S. Army Maj. Darla Deauvearo, adjudicator for the physical evaluations board at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. “I was in Iraq when she enlisted and I found out she had joined security forces. But she wanted to start sooner rather than later.”
After initial training, Scott arrived at Whiteman AFB, where she was assigned to a variety of patrol and guard duties as a first-term security forces Airman.
Despite the grueling schedule, Scott soon completed her Community College of the Air Force degree in criminal justice. Later, she said, she realized that she wanted to follow her mom’s footsteps in the medical field. After some research, Scott pursued a commission in the Medical Service Corps (MSC) — all while studying for the staff sergeant promotion test.
“School was definitely tough,” Scott said. “Especially with the shifts we work, I was tired a lot and complained a fair amount. But my mom kept motivating me and cheered me on.”
To speed up the process after spending considerable time on her CCAF degree, Scott enrolled in Air University’s Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) program, which allows students to transfer credit to earn certain bachelor degrees in less time. The AU-ABC was created to help enlisted Airmen pursue advanced education beyond the associate level and links CCAF graduates to accredited civilian academic institutions that offer online or distance learning bachelor’s degrees.
“The program works,” Scott said. “It helped me get my bachelor’s degree on time. There are people who graduated high school with me, and I really only graduated college a year after them, but already have a full career. That makes me feel proud.”
A duty shift to the armory gave Scott additional time and allowed her an increased focus on personal goals: setting her sights on commissioning to become an officer. In addition, Scott shadowed medical professionals at the Whiteman AFB clinic and said the support from the medical services units has been a major factor in her success.
“It’s a different world,” Scott said. “You have everybody’s family you get to take care of, which is a big responsibility. But going over there (to the clinic) helped me confirm that this is what I want to do, that I could do this.”
Scott was later accepted as an officer in health services administration.
“I wanted to commission since I joined,” Scott said. “The faster I completed my studies, the faster I could get into the career field of my dreams. In addition, my mom retires next year after 30 years of service, and I wanted her to be able to commission me. That was a big push for me.”
Finally at the end of her enlisted journey, Scott was promoted in front of the same caged armory counter where she spent many shifts caring for weapons and ammunition in support of the base defense mission.
“We’re so proud of her,” Maj. Deauvearo said. “I’d like to think we had an influence on her choices, but we knew she could do whatever she set her mind to.”
Her father Ray exchanged the staff sergeant chevron patch for the bronze lieutenant bar and her mother administered the official oath of office to her daughter.
“It’s amazing. I’m so happy,” Scott said wearing her new rank. “I’m definitely not going to forget where I came from. I’m thankful for my experiences and my time here will help me become a better leader in the future.”
Her commissioning also marked her last day at Whiteman AFB. On Aug. 13, Scott began Commissioned Officer Training, a demanding five-and-a-half-week program at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, that introduces legal, ministry and healthcare professionals into their military leadership roles.
“I’ll have a lot more responsibilities, that’s for sure,” Scott said. “But I think I’m prepared for it. I want to be able to lead my peers and those who depend on me to the best of my ability so they too can accomplish whatever their goals are. That’s a big passion of mine. I want to help people — whether it’s small or big goals.”
For more on becoming an officer as an enlisted Airman, visit https://www.airforce.com/how-to-join/process/enlisted-to-officer
To read about Scott’s acceptance into the Medical Service Corps, visit https://www.whiteman.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1336441/armed-with-motivation-sfs-airman-accepted-into-medical-service-corps/