He works eight hours, comes home and spends time with his family. Then it is time for school. After doing school work until 2 a.m. he gets just a few hours of sleep before he has to get up again for work at 5 a.m.
This is only a glimpse of the dedication Staff Sgt. Nicholas Carver, 97th Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of central appointments and patient travel, showed during his pursuit of a Bachelors Degree and his dream of one day attending Officer Training School.
After three years and 10 months of schooling and sacrifice, Carver’s dream of attending OTS is now a reality. He was selected into OTS by the Officer Training School Rated Selection Board and was accepted to the Pilot career field. He is scheduled to attend OTS at Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala. beginning Jan. 8, 2013.
“I couldn’t be happier. It just doesn’t seem real,” Carver said. “I don’t think it will seem real until I actually get there because I have been thinking about it so much for the past four years that it has just been a dream and now for it to actually happen it is surreal.”
Carver received his Associates Degree in Business from Western Oklahoma State College and is scheduled to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle, Nov. 14, 2012.
“At first I wasn’t sure what career field I wanted to go into as an officer,” Carver said. “First I was leaning towards combat rescue officer, but after I got my degree at Western I transferred to Embry Riddle and I needed some aeronautical background. So I went and got my private pilot’s license. Once I started flying, I was instantly addicted.”
Carver paid out of pocket to earn his private pilot’s license and is now very passionate about flying.
“[Flying] is unlike anything else really,” Carver said. “I have always liked fast cars and stuff, but flying a plane was a new sense of freedom, looking down at the world and seeing it from a different view.”
After 12.5 weeks of OTS, Carver will move onto Undergraduate Pilot Training.
“When I get there and I’m in Undergraduate Pilot Training and I get selected for whatever [aircraft], I am going to be stoked,” said Carver. “I mean really, I’m going to get to fly planes – from what I’m doing now flying a desk – it’s going to be awesome. It is more than I could have ever dreamed of.”
He is excited about flying no matter what aircraft he is selected for, but if he had a choice he has a list.
“If I had to pick it would probably go something like A-10, F-35 if possible for my class, F-22, F-15, F-16, B-2, B-1 and then C-17,” said Carver.
Carver has proven his leadership abilities throughout his enlisted career.
He was selected for Senior Airman Below the Zone and made Staff Sergeant on his first attempt. During Airman Leadership School he received the John Levitow Award, which is presented to the student who demonstrated the most outstanding leadership and scholastic qualities.
“You have to be a go getter,” Carver said. “Take every opportunity you can get and always give it your best. I was always just giving my best.”
He is driven both at work and during his personal life.
“You just have to push yourself to the max all the time in whatever you are doing,” Carver said. “I was kind of relentless with myself. I’m not going to suggest that anyone get by on three hours of sleep a night but I was up until 2 o’clock in the morning, then back up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work. I could still fulfill my family duties after work and at night I was going to class online.”
Carver says he could not have done this without the support of his family.
“My wife’s support and teamwork was essential to our success,” Carver said. “She also started school here and will be graduating with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Cameron University this coming spring after which she intends to go onto Medical School. We worked as a team all throughout our degrees, taking on various duties and helping each other out as often as we could.”
“It required a lot of structure and discipline,” Carver said. “I can say without a doubt I would not have finished as quickly as I did without the support I had. My mother, stepfather, siblings and the rest of my family have been very supportive all throughout my military career and this endeavor; this is a great accomplishment in my family.”
Carver’s drive to make an impact on the world is what led him to pursue an officer career.
“The primary reason why I decided to become an officer is because of the impact I can make,” Carver said. “I want to make a difference in the world, in the Air Force and in the lives of those I serve with.”
“Becoming an officer gives me a broader scope to make this impact,” Carver said. “I would say the second reason is to fly or rather pilot. This is something that I am very passionate about and the Air Force is unmatched in Airpower around the world; even to be selected to fly one of our aircraft is truly humbling.”