From NCO to Second Lieutenant
By Air Force Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 02, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Tech. Sgt. Olivia Sandrini, 721st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, command support staff and programs section chief, received a call from Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, to inform her she had been selected to attend Officers Training School via the Senior Leader Enlisted Commission Program Nov. 1, 2018.
Sandrini said she was stunned to find out she was one of five people in the Air Force to be awarded this honor.
"SLECP is a commissioning program that gives our top Air Force leaders an opportunity to hand-pick members of our enlisted force that demonstrate exceptional job performance, leadership ability, and the potential skills required of our commissioned officers,” said Maj. Brad Seehawer, 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing executive officer. “There's only a select few chosen each year, and it's highly competitive.”
Sandrini, a Detroit native, worked at a doctor’s office, but wanted a career that was more fulfilling. She decided to join the military.
Sandrini is married with two children and has been in the military 12 years.
“I wanted to provide a life for myself, independent of everyone else,” said Sandrini. “I initially signed for six years and had planned to get out after my contract ended. But after I went through basic, I realized this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Sandrini said she wanted to become an Air Force Officer because she wanted the ability to impact individual’s lives on a broader scale and use her voice to benefit the Air Force as a whole.
Sandrini submitted a package twice to be accepted into officer training school, but this time decided to apply to the SLECP.
Sandrini said she didn’t find out about the SLECP until after she submitted her second package, but she told herself she would take advantage of the program the next time around.
“Sandrini leads from the front, she is a subject matter expert, deeply cares about Airmen under her supervision and is an outstanding noncommissioned officer in this squadron,” said Lt. Col. Scott W. Gilliland, 721st AMXS commander.
Sandrini has a bachelor’s degree in education and training and looks forward to being able to continue to learn and shape her future Airmen.
When Sandrini first joined the military her family didn’t think she would succeed. After she graduated from basic as an honor graduate and 12 years later with a commission around the corner, they’re nothing but proud.
“I know this sounds a little cliché, but I would tell any Airmen who wants to become an officer or wants to accomplish any goal, to believe in themselves and don’t give up,” said Sandrini. “If you want it and are willing to work for it, you can accomplish anything.”
Sandrini has earned the support and respect of her troops and leadership.
“Because of her leadership potential, hard work and dedication throughout her career, she has earned this commission,” said Gilliland. “There is no doubt that Tech. Sgt. Sandrini will be a remarkable aircraft maintenance officer and will continue to be a phenomenal leader.”