Medical sergeant seeks commission
By Staff Sgt. Shane M. Phipps, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 22, 2016
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A technical sergeant from the 30th Medical Operations Squadron recently began a new chapter in his Air Force career - starting his first day of Officer Training School, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., on March 21.
Tech. Sgt. Cody Leneve, 30th MDOS NCOIC of occupational health, found himself rewarded with the opportunity to commission after the months-long application process.
"I started the application process around June of last year and submitted in September," said Leneve. "My package met the board in October and then they released my acceptance notification in December. It all started when I finished my degree and spoke with various mentors who recommended I pursue this path. I really just had the opportunity and figured it would be a logical next step in my career."
For Leneve's supervisor, his acceptance comes as no surprise and is the culmination of hard-work and perseverance.
"He's a great Airman," said Master Sgt. Denisse Portunato, 30th MDOS bioenvironmental engineering flight chief. "When he first got here he had to not only manage his program but mine as well -- while I was away. He did a great job and during that year, we had 13 awards for our flight and he won the 2014 Air Force Space Command bioenvironmental NCO of the year."
With 14 years of Air Force experience, Leneve began his career working with the high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft - known as the U-2.
"I joined the Air Force after Sept. 11 and went to basic training in February of 2002," said Leneve. "I became an egress mechanic on the U-2 aircraft and worked on the ejection seats on that aircraft and deployed various times in that position. Eventually, I was retrained into bioenvironmental engineering in 2009. Now I will be working to become a space operations officer."
In addition to a working knowledge of both the mechanical and medical fields, Leneve will commission with a valuable arsenal of supervisory skills accumulated during his years as an NCO.
"I think he will transition well into the officer corps," said Portunato. "His experience will be great because he has seen the mechanical world and the medical world, so he will really be able to interact smoothly with people from both areas. He also has the advantage other lieutenants don't have, in that he's supervised Airmen, he's filled in as a flight chief, and has filled in as the shirt -- so he understands those roles. He really has done it all, which will be extremely helpful for him as an officer. I can see him grooming his peers and helping other lieutenants with some of the ins and outs of the Air Force."
Leneve attributes his success to his wife and mentors who encouraged him to pursue a commission and he hopes to provide the same encouragement to future Airmen interested in following a similar path.
"My wife was one of the ones who pushed me toward this path and I think that was absolutely a huge factor in getting me to this point," said Leneve. "I want to be able to help motivate any Airmen in the future who may want to pursue the same path I did. I think I will be in a great position to do that."