SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Second Lt. Olufunmilayo Akinlosotu stepped forward as the last graduate of Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course Class 180910 here Dec. 14, 2018, another significant milestone in the officer’s young Air Force career.
The Air Force Academy grad accepted her certificate of training from 363rd Training Squadron Commander Lt. Col. James Olson, shook his hand and rendered a salute. Everything was going according to plan – except her boyfriend, 2nd Lt. Jacob Onyechi, not there to celebrate the occasion. Last she had heard, he was not going to be able to make the trip from Eglin AFB, Florida, to North Texas in time for the ceremony.
Or so she thought.
Sneaking in from a side door behind Akinlosotu, the 6-foot-1 Onyechi, wearing his mess dress uniform for the special occasion, made his way behind the unsuspecting graduate and lightly tapped her on the shoulder. The Seattle, Washington-native had a look of bewilderment upon seeing Onyechi standing there, and especially realizing he seemed to be overdressed for a technical training graduation.
Onyechi, assigned to the 780th Test Squadron, pulled open the left side of his coat, reaching for an object in the inside pocket. Whether it was nerves or the bulkiness of the object, it took a few more seconds than planned for the former Air Force Academy football player to remove a box, drop to one knee and ask for Akinlosotu’s hand in marriage.
“I was in shock and I still am in shock,” Akinlosotu said after the graduation. “I’m still kind of shaking.”
Onyechi said the couple has been dating for more than two years, and decided about a year ago that Akinlosotu was the woman he wanted to marry. He said he considered popping the question when she graduated from the academy in May, but decided to wait. The AMOC graduation presented another opportunity to propose and include his Air Force family.
The Sugar Land, Texas-native said it was important for him to include the Air Force in his proposal plans because, after all, it has been the service and the academy that “has formed and shaped a lot of who I am today.”
“I felt it would be a really good opportunity to share this big experience with the Air Force because I met her at the academy,” he said.
A wedding date has not been set yet as the newness of the proposal has yet to wear off. But given their life together to this point, the wedding day is almost certain to have shades of blue.
“One way or another, I’m sure almost half the people that will be at the wedding will be people from the Air Force because we’ve met so many close friends all throughout the years,” Onyechi said.