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Beckwith named Airman of the Month for February

Airman 1st Class Rafeal Beckwith, a client systems technician with the 71st Communications Squadron, inspects the switchboard in Building 246 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. Beckwith was named the 71st Flying Training Wing Airman of the Month for February. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Frank Casciotta)

Airman 1st Class Rafeal Beckwith, a client systems technician with the 71st Communications Squadron, inspects the switchboard in Building 246 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla. Beckwith was named the 71st Flying Training Wing Airman of the Month for February. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Frank Casciotta)

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Airman 1st Class Rafeal Beckwith, a client systems technician with the 71st Communications Squadron, was named the 71st Flying Training Wing Airman of the Month for February.

Each month Airmen are selected to represent their squadron as Airman of the Month. They face a board consisting of the previous month's Airman of the Month, a junior NCO and a senior NCO.

The candidates are judged on military bearing, dress and appearance while being questioned on current events and military policy.

"It was nerve-racking going before the board, but I'm pretty cordial and outgoing so I was OK," said Beckwith. "The hardest part was keeping my bearing and answering questions. It makes it harder to communicate when you have to stay focused on staying so rigid."

As a client systems technician, Beckwith repairs computers and updates software. He is also the only male victim-advocate volunteering with Vance's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program on base.

"I like my job," said Beckwith, a native of Washington, D.C. "It's something I've always had an interest in."

"Since Beckwith arrived at the communications squadron he has been a stellar troop," said Tech. Sgt. Linell McKissick, the NCO in charge of client systems. "He has been working at a senior airman skill level, as an airman 1st class."

Beckwith enlisted two years ago with the intent of finishing his degree in computer forensics.

"I decided to pursue computer forensics because my father was a police officer," said Beckwith. "I admired him for that, but I don't want to be a cop. Computer forensics will allow me to work with law enforcement and continue to work with computers."