Face of Defense: Airman Carries on Family’s Legacy of Service


Air Force 1st Lt. Kenneth Ellison grew up hearing about his family’s service in the Air Force. Fourteen years ago, he made the choice to carry on that legacy by enlisting.

“I joined the Air Force Reserve in 2004 to better myself,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere and I knew the Air Force would give me the training I needed to get my life going in the right direction.”

After serving in the enlisted ranks for more than a decade, Ellison directly commissioned into the Medical Service Corps and graduated from Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, June 22.

Designed for healthcare, legal or ministry professionals, COT differs from other commissioning sources, such as Reserve Officer Training Corps or Officer Training School, as airmen attending this program have already received their commission. The compact course brings in professionals to quickly fill continual needs of the Air Force.

Since Ellison already attained his master’s degree, he received his commission as a first lieutenant in November, and was able to attend the 5-week COT program before returning to the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, to serve as the Medical Readiness officer in charge.

Developing Into a Leader

“Now as a commissioned officer, I feel like I’m starting yet another chapter of…

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