Tech. Sgt. Clara Plummer
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- She is a mother, a supervisor, a technical sergeant, an Airman and an airfield manager... and next year she will add officer to that list.
Tech. Sgt. Carla Plummer, 5th Air Forces airfield management representative for Japan bases, was recently selected to commission as a second lieutenant through the Air Force's newest incentive commissioning program: the Senior Leadership Enlisted Commissioning Program.
The SLECP is unique to other commissioning programs, allowing senior leaders to choose members to commission based on their character, performance and overall persona in their current Air Force role. Each major command commander in the Air Force had the opportunity to select an enlisted Airman to commission through officer training school.
Gen. Lori Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, selected Plummer for the program.
Plummer had two choices for her most desired officer jobs, one was airfield operations officer... and she got it. Plummer is scheduled to be an officer in the same career she spent 11 years as an enlisted Airman.
Plummer was also selected for promotion to master sergeant this year, but she is leaving it behind to commission. She offers years of management knowledge, specialized skills and first-hand experience as an Enlisted Airmen to the officer ranks.
She was previously assigned to the 374th Operations Support Squadron, running the airfield at Yokota for more than two years before changing positions to the 5AF. Before the transition, in her last year as the airfield manager, Plummer was highlighted as the 374th Airlift Wing non-commissioned officer of the year.
Plummer allotted her success to past and present coworkers and leadership.
"I think I have been really blessed to have worked for great people who have seen potential in me and were able to push me to my limits; they were able to push me out of my comfort zone and they wanted me to be the best that I could be," Plummer said. "I know its cliché, but I guess they saw something in me."
Her current boss, Michael Bishop, Chief of the Aviation Affairs Division for 5th Air Force, was one of those who recognized Plummer's potential and did something about it, recommending her for the SLECP.
"On a daily basis TSgt Plummer demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities," Bishop said. "She has the respect of all her coworkers in the [United States Forces, Japan] community, including our sister services."
Bishop said many people recognize and comment on Plummer's willingness to go out of her way to assist others.
"I think she will be an exceptional officer," Bishop said about Plummer. "She has the charisma and ability to lead. She will do well!"
Plummer admitted that she was scared and nervous to apply for commission. What if she wasn't accepted? What if she found out she wasn't good enough? Plummer said she fought through her negative thinking.
"If I am going to apply, I might as well do it now," Plummer said speaking to her thought process when she was informed of the new commissioning program. "If I wait any longer, I might not do it."
Plummer did apply and is now awaiting a class opening. She will leave Yokota in line with the class.
The soon-to-be commissioned officer said any one can commission.
"You can do anything you put your mind to," Plummer said. "Always take situations, good or bad, and learn from them and moved on."