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302nd AMXS maintainer headed to Air Force Academy

Senior Airman Travis Moore, 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication and navigation systems specialist, poses for a photo in front of a C-130 Hercules aircraft Aug. 20, 2018 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Moore was recently selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School through the Air Force’s Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney)

Senior Airman Travis Moore, 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication and navigation systems specialist, poses for a photo in front of a C-130 Hercules aircraft Aug. 20, 2018 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Moore was recently selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School through the Air Force’s Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney)

Senior Airman Travis Moore, 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication and navigation systems specialist, checks controls inside a C-130 Hercules aircraft Aug. 20, 2018 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Moore was recently selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School through the Air Force’s Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney)

Senior Airman Travis Moore, 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication and navigation systems specialist, checks controls inside a C-130 Hercules aircraft Aug. 20, 2018 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Moore was recently selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School through the Air Force’s Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Crisp white hats thrown like confetti toward a deep blue sky and the sound of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds zooming overhead is a tradition that symbolizes the end of a long journey. A Reserve Citizen Airman from the 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron will begin that journey at the U.S. Air Force Academy this summer.

Senior Airman Travis Moore, 302nd AMXS communication and navigation systems specialist, is headed to the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School this month with the goal of being part of the academy’s class of 2023.

Moore was selected through the Air Force’s Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development Program.

According to the academy’s admissions website, “Airmen possess both military knowledge and proven reliability, and as such, are the archetypal cadet and commissioned officer we are looking for at the academy.”

As the 302nd AMXS commander, Maj. John Fite recommended Moore for the academy through the LEAD program.

“We have an outstanding group of Airmen within our squadron, and Travis has done a fine job,” Fite said. “He impressed his supervisor and, in turn, impressed me.”

Moore said he was always interested in attending the academy. Also, being part of the 302nd Airlift Wing and talking to officers who had gone to the academy made him realize it would provide experiences he could not get anywhere else.

Fite said he believes this is a once in a lifetime and an outstanding opportunity for his Airman.

“Travis is relatively young within the squadron and has drive and determination,” he said. “When he made the decision to attend the Air Force Academy, we supported him fully.”

Moore said it felt like a long time before he received any news, but when he found out he was selected, he was excited.

“The week before I found out I spent a lot of time thinking of a plan B, which I hadn’t really been doing until that point because I felt pretty confident in my application,” Moore said. “It was kind of scary to think ‘if I don’t get in, then what do I do?’ So when I finally found out that I’m going, it was such a relief.”

Moore said his time as a Reserve Citizen Airman has helped prepare him for the next phase in his career. He also said meeting new people, making lifelong friends and having experiences he would not be able to have anywhere else is what he’s looking forward to most at the academy.

“There aren’t many other colleges where you have an opportunity like that,” he said.

Although he will not find out which career field he will join until his senior year at the academy, Moore hopes to eventually become a pilot.

For more information about the LEAD program, visit https://www.academyadmissions.com/admissions/advice-to-applicants/enlisted-airmen/