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SEU Holds Graduation for Air Force Flight Academy Cadets

Students smiling in aviation suits

We recently held a special graduation ceremony for 18 cadets from the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) Flight Academy Program. On July 21, the cadets gathered in the aircraft hangar of the Kingsky Flight Academy to signify the completion of the program. 

The ceremony featured General Larry Martin, retired Major General USAF, as the speaker. 

About the Cadets

Of the participating cadets, one is a United States Air Force (USAF) Academy cadet, two are college-level AFJROTC cadets, and 15 are high school-level AFJROTC cadets. In addition to completing the program, 17 of the cadets received their private pilot’s license. 

“These young men and women have excelled throughout their training. Their discipline and focus were key in many of them completing their private pilot’s license in less than eight weeks. They have truly displayed the level of professionalism expected of our future military or civilian pilots,” said Dr. Kenneth Stephens, chair of SEU Aviation.  

As one of only 24 universities across the nation awarded a contract with the AFJROTC Flight Academy, SEU hosted the cadets on its main campus in Lakeland from May 28 until their graduation. The cadets originated from states all over the country, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. 

Currently in its fourth year of participating in the program, SEU is one of two colleges in Florida to serve as a host site. 

Behind the Flight Academy Program

The AFJROTC Flight Academy program provides scholarships for students to participate in its eight-week summer aviation training course. The program was created in efforts to combat the current national pilot shortage in the U.S., as well as to encourage diversity within the aviation industry.

As a part of successfully completing the program, the cadets receive their private pilot’s license,  in addition to six college credits. A Private Pilot’s Certification allows an individual to fly a private aircraft anywhere as long as they are in compliance with the airspace regulations set by the country of destination.

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