Academy graduate to become first Reserve AOC

Maj. DeAnna Franks, a 1999 Academy graduate, will become the first reservist Air Officer Commanding here during a May 30 change of command ceremony. (courtesy photo)

Maj. DeAnna Franks, a 1999 Academy graduate, will become the first reservist Air Officer Commanding here during a May 30 change of command ceremony. (courtesy photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- In 1995 Maj. DeAnna Franks attended the Academy in hopes of becoming an Air Force pilot. As a cadet, she studied Behavioral Sciences, competed on the women's swim team and often spent time with her classmates in Cadet Squadron 17, her assigned squadron freshman and sophomore year.

Eighteen years later, after experiencing defining years in the active duty Air Force and Reserve, she will have the opportunity to build new memories in CS-17 when she officially becomes the first Reserve Air Officer Commanding here May 30 in Arnold Hall during a change of command ceremony.

"I have intense pride for the Academy, its legacy and traditions," Franks said. "The Academy is an amazing place to be from and return to. I hope to share with cadets amazing experiences they will have in the Air Force and the great dimensions their career and life will take them in the upcoming years."

Franks was assigned to the Academy last May to complete her master's degree in counseling and leadership, an Air Force Intermediate Developmental Education course. Franks will accept command of CS-17 from Maj. Bob Bryant and is the only Reservist of the 21 newly assigned AOCs here.

"The Reserves is another avenue that many cadets can think of for their future in order to continue their military career after their active duty time," Franks said. "My experiences since graduating from the Academy have been full of surprises, challenges and many successes. Especially my transition from active duty to the Reserves allowed for my family to grow while continuing with my Air Force career and flying opportunities."

Franks said a typical cadet squadron consists of approximately 100 cadets representing all four class years.

"In this role I will help to guide and advise the fall semester Cadet Squadron Commander and his staff through outlining their goals for the semester, training plans, and focusing on the growth, character and leadership development of the cadets in CS-17," Franks said.

Originally from Orlando, Fla., Franks isn't the only member in her family who experienced cadet life here. Her father graduated from the Academy in 1973 and her brother in 2002.

"I can share my strong family background and military history with the cadets," Franks said. "I also look forward to instructing cadets in the powered flight program and motivating them for their future flying careers."

Franks said she learned about the Reserve lifestyle when she was stationed as an instructor pilot at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., and had four Reserve instructor pilots assigned to her flight.

"I was always very impressed with the military pride and dedication they had to my flight of students and their career progression," Franks said.

In 2007, Franks left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve to start a family. She now has a 6-year old daughter, Haylee.

"Total force is truly the mission of the Air Force now. It takes the work and dedication of all units: active duty, Reservists and Guardsmen to accomplish our nation's good work," Franks said.