'Keeping Up With the Cofields'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Colby L. Hardin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Although seeing two married Airmen around base isn't uncommon, seeing a captain and a technical sergeant as a married couple, however, can turn some heads.

Capt. Jaclyn Cofield, 22nd Operations Support Squadron navigator, a Los Angeles native, and Tech. Sgt. Joseph Cofield, 344th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator instructor, a native of Erie, Pa., are now a married couple and residents of Wichita, Kan.

Before being introduced through a friend, the two didn't really know each other even after they lived in the same dorm building.

"She was buying a car from a friend of mine, and I knew we were all going out that night, so I invited her along," said Joseph. "Everything else pretty much happened from there."

Jaclyn separated from the Air Force in 2004 to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Ill., graduating in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She received the opportunity to attend officer training school and join the Air Force again, but this time as a second lieutenant and a KC-135 Stratotanker navigator.

"The initial goal was to stay in and make chief, but then there were things I saw that I didn't quite like," said Jaclyn. "That's when I decided, I wanted to be able to change Airmen, and change the world. That was the main reason why I decided to commission."

According to an Air Force Instruction, commissioned officers are not to have personal relationships with enlisted members, unless the relationship exists prior to the member commissioning.

"We do get weird looks because people think we're fraternizing, but once they know our story, all stigma disappears," said Jaclyn. "It is probably weird for some people that don't know us, but most people think it is cool, especially for Joe."

The Air Force has made a big impact on the way the Cofields live their lives and they said they're glad it all worked out this way.

"I do wonder sometimes if I would have make technical sergeant my first time testing and whether I could be a master sergeant now," said Jaclyn. "Having been enlisted before commissioning, gave me a different perspective, and you see things, in my opinion, differently."

Joe however, has a different view of the Air Force than his wife.

"Being a boom is amazing. I've got to do some pretty awesome things in my career," said Joe. "By maintaining this path, I think I've been able to have a larger positive impact; then if I would've started over as an officer."

When they are not flying, Jaclyn creates oil paintings and experiments with different food recipes, but to work off all of the food she's creating, she also is a big runner, while Joe is more of a fan of fiction.

"I like video games and I'm a comic book collector," said Joe. "I guess your standard guy stuff."

The couple plans to serve a full 20-year commitment then retire, move to New Hampshire and start up their own business doing the things they love. They will not only sell comics, but also sell baked goods made by Jaclyn.