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First enlisted reservist graduates from new Weapons School course

A woman stands outside with her arms folded.

Master Sgt. Christina Gonzalez, 310th Operations Support Squadron, displays her weapons school patch at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 4, 2020. She is the first enlisted reservist to graduate from the 1C6 Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor Course (AIC) at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, May 12, 2020 and is the first enlisted reservist to complete the course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Frank Casciotta)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

History was made May 12 as the first enlisted reservist graduated from the 1C6 Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor Course (AIC) at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. 

Master Sgt. Christina Gonzalez, 310th Operations Support Squadron, says she put in her application to attend the nearly five-month course to learn to be the best and perform as a mentor for her squadron.

The AIC 1C6 is a highly selective and relatively new program with the first class graduating last November. The course provides its graduates with advanced academic and practical training to plan, employ and integrate space capabilities into joint operations.

“Getting selected for a weapons school is nearly a year in the making,” said Maj. Robert Dover, a flight commander within 310th OSS. “We have to find the best technicians because the course is extremely challenging academically. On top of that, they need to have the right set of interpersonal skills as well. We will expect them to not only lead and teach the enlisted force, but be advisors to commanders, lead exercises and find ways to integrate our capabilities with other military branches.”

Gonzalez said she spent about 16 hours a day between the class itself and studying the material.

“You are expected to absorb all of the information and be able to apply it the next day,” she said. “It was worth it to me because the knowledge and skills I learned will spread to the rest of the 310th (Space Wing) and increase our mission capabilities.”

Dover, a weapons school graduate himself who knows the challenges a weapons school brings, says he’s proud of her dedication to the mission.

“She overcame so many challenges,” he said. “You have to put a ton of effort into this course. I imagine there were a number of times she felt like giving up, but she didn’t. You give up your life for several months to complete this course.”