MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
It all started with an airshow in the United Kingdom.
U.S. Air Force jets roared overhead, dazzling the crowd and displaying the might of American airpower. A little boy stood awestruck, vowing that one day would fly one of those awesome jets.
That same boy immigrated to the U.S. with his family and enlisted in the Air Force, electing to serve his new nation.
He became an air transportation specialist, deploying and making sure aircraft were in the fight. Later, he earned a special duty assignment as a facility manager in the 740th Missile Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
On December 13, Staff Sgt. Sean Platt answered the phone while on-duty at Delta-01 Missile Alert Facility, discovering that it was none other than Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) Heather Wilson.
Platt, the same boy who began his dream at an airshow, was shocked and excited to find out that he was one of only five Airmen selected by Headquarters Air Force for the prestigious Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program (SLECP) and that he had also earned the opportunity to attend pilot training after commissioning. This achievement is the culmination of four years of hard work and represents the first step toward achieving a life-long dream of serving as a military aviator.
Through multiple assignments and deployments, Platt recalls he fell in love with the Profession of Arms, set a goal to earn a commission and pursued the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of flying.
The SLECP, which allows select Air Force senior leaders to hand-pick the best and brightest from across the service to commission through officer training school, represented a natural means to achieve this goal. Unlike the Airman Scholarship & Commissioning Program and Officer Training School (OTS) application process, SLECP offers a fast-track method of earning a commission without the need to submit an application or meet a board.
Platt’s squadron, group and wing leadership also felt this program would be a great opportunity for their young noncommissioned officer.
“I could tell right away that he was destined for great things and would be an outstanding leader, mentor, and officer for the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Benji Johnson, 740th MS commander.
“Platt’s sustained performance and demonstrated leadership is an example for all NCOs,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Lorenz, 740th MS superintendent. “His passion is to lead and I look forward to what he will accomplish for the men and women in the United States Air Force.”
After meeting with the 91st Missile Wing commander, Col. Glenn Harris, Platt was thrilled to be informed that he was Air Force Global Strike Command’s nominee for the program and would be competing at Air Force Headquarters for one of the coveted spots.
After two more anxious months of hoping and waiting, the SECAF’s phone call was the welcome conclusion to a four-year long journey to earning a commission.
With his selection, Platt will be enrolled in the SLECP-O track for members who have already earned an undergraduate degree. Upon selection for the program, SLECP-O personnel depart their unit to attend Officer Training School (OTS) and then attend either rated or non-rated technical training.
Members who have not completed their undergraduate studies are vectored into the SLECP-A to attend school while remaining on active duty, after which they report to OTS followed by technical education in their new career field.
“Serving as a commissioned officer will provide me the opportunity to guide, mentor and develop our Airmen into tomorrow’s global leaders,” said Platt.
Platt will continue to serve in the 740th MS until he is assigned to an OTS class and commissions as a second lieutenant. He will then attend Undergraduate Pilot Training.
For more information on commissioning in the Air Force, contact the Education Office at 701-723-2772 or visit https://www.airforce.com/how-to-join/process/enlisted-to-officer.