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Airman aces tech school

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tony Harp
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Airman 1st Class Charles Shelton completed his technical school with perfection, earning the ACE award while recently attending the aircraft fuel systems apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. 

The ACE award is awarded to an Airmen who maintains a perfect grade throughout the entire 36-academic-day course.

Shelton began his journey 15 months ago when he first enlisted into the Air National Guard as a fuel systems repair specialist with the 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron. At the time, the Oxford native had just finished a year-long diesel mechanic program at a trade school and had a job working in the career field. 

Shelton credits his mechanical background as one of the factors that led to his success at tech school. 

“My mechanical background is what really helped it,” said Shelton. “I understood things a lot better having the mechanical background than my peers did.”

Tech. Sgt. Chris Fagan, the 193rd SOMXS fuel systems NCO in charge, spoke on the success Shelton has had early on in his career.

“A1C Shelton is a stand-out individual with a very strong work ethic that has already been proven during his BMT and tech school,” said Fagan. “Not only did he ace his tech school training but he also achieved honors at BMT. His high levels of achievement are a direct reflection on his technical abilities.”

With his schooling already completed and his civilian career established, Shelton joined the military because it is something he wanted to be a part of. 

“I’m mainly here because I want to be here,” said Shelton. “Doing the military thing was something I always wanted to do.”

Shelton said he had strong support from his family when he joined the military. His cousin, a Soldier in the Army National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, helped him along during the process and pushed him to explore all of his options.

Shelton is currently completing his Mission Essential Skills Training within the 193rd SOMSX and looks forward to returning to his diesel mechanic job on the civilian side. 

“I’d like to get done with my MEST days here, go on as any trips as I can and help out as much as I can here, but still continue to do my line of work on the civilian side and do this part time,” said Shelton.

Fagan believes Shelton has all the tools to continue to excel within the wing.

“He is eager to learn and is taking any and all opportunities to train and learn all he can to hone his craft,” said Fagan. “I can already tell his future will be bright with the 193rd SOW based solely by his current performance. His military bearing and demeanor show he has a firm understanding of what the USAF, ANG and this unit expects and demands. I feel he will be with no doubt a strong future leader.”