NASIC Airman receives SLECP-A nomination, earns commission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kristof Rixmann
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Lepinski, an analyst with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, had her dreams of commissioning come to fruition when she received the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program – Active-Duty Scholarship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Nov. 22, 2022.

The SLECP-A is a highly competitive enlisted commissioning program that allows designated senior leaders to select and fast-track enlisted Airmen for commissioning through Officer Training School.
It provides selectees a scholarship to the university of their choice to finish an undergraduate degree and then attend OTS after graduation.

Starting in the fall semester of 2023, Lepinski will begin her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her Computer Science degree.

Lepinski, who was personally selected for SLECP-A by Lt. Gen. Kevin B. Schneider, Headquarters Air Force Director of Staff, said she couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.

“This is a dream come true,” said Lepinski. “It allows me to fulfill two very important aspirations: receiving an education from UW-Madison and serving as a commissioned officer.”
“I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so I am incredibly fortunate to be near my support system again,” she continued. “My parents are very proud and excited too, they even cried when they heard the news. This opportunity means the world to me.”

Securing the SLECP-A nomination requires individuals to demonstrate consistent and exceptional leadership qualities throughout their enlisted career. In addition, the process leading up to the nomination necessitates significant time and effort from airmen like herself.

“The application to this program demanded a lot of preparation,” Lepinski said. “It started with having serious conversations with my leadership about whether this avenue was in the best interest of the Air Force and if it could also complement my goals.”

One of those leaders is Lt. Col. Morris Love, Regional Threats Analysis Squadron commander, who voiced his total support for Lepinski.

“Staff Sgt. Lepinski is an airman that displays high character and seeks out the most challenging tasks,” said Love. “She has shown unparalleled dedication to the mission of both NASIC and the U.S. Air Force. Staff Sgt. Lepinski is the type of airman that makes a unit go, and I am extremely confident that she will be an officer and leader that makes organizations and their people better.”

Once her unit was on board, Lepinski moved into action. She coordinated with her leadership to ensure all eligibility requirements, wrote a personal essay on her desire to serve as a commissioned officer, received two letters of recommendation, passed the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, and applied to UW-Madison.

In a moment of reflection, Lepinski credited her support system for much of her success leading up to her nomination.

“My leadership and work center played a crucial role in promoting this process,” she said. “They spent hours mentoring, coordinating, writing, revising, and routing.”
Upon finding out about her SLECP-A nomination, Lepinski expressed gratitude for those very leaders in and around her work center.

“I am a product of the positive leadership and support that have been given me,” Lepinski said. “I can never thank my leadership enough for holding me accountable, for the trust they placed in me, and for the extensive investment they have made in me and my future. To my friends, thank you for making each duty station feel like home, providing me some balance, and being my biggest cheerleaders. Finally, to my family, you are my rock and my constant. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made in moving me all over the country and the patience you have when the mission has to take priority. Your steadfast love and support make this all possible.”

As Lepinski prepares to move back to Wisconsin, her dream has become a reality. It will be several years until Lepinski reenters the U.S. Air Force as an officer, but she’s already looking for ways to help other Airmen turn their commissioning dreams into a reality of their own.

“If anyone has an interest in the enlisted commissioning programs, I have applied to almost every available one and would love to serve as a resource moving forward,” Lepinski said.