Zhamarius Harmon, a junior at Putnam City High School and a cadet in the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC, has received a scholarship to attend an accredited aviation university participating in a private pilot license training program in the summer of 2019.
Harmon is one of 150 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets around the world, and three in Oklahoma, to receive the scholarship from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama.
The number of Putnam City High cadets chosen for the scholarship may increase. Caleb King, a junior at Putnam City High, was chosen as an alternate for the scholarship and could be called at any time to replace one of the 150 recipients who is unable to attend the training.
More than 1,560 cadets applied for one of the 150 scholarships. There are more than 120,000 high school students enrolled in Air Force Junior ROTC at almost 900 high schools in the U.S and overseas. The scholarship covers transportation, room and board, academics and flight hours required to potentially earn a private pilot license. The scholarship is valued at approximately $20,000.
The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is Air Force-level initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage. Those who participate in the program do not incur a military commitment to the Air Force or any other branch of service, nor does completing the program guarantee acceptance into one of the military’s commissioning programs.
“I am truly honored to be able to accept this opportunity, to start my journey toward my dream of being a pilot. I want to thank Putnam City JROTC for giving me the chance to do what I love. I hope to turn this opportunity into a fighter pilot career in the U.S Air Force,” Harmon says.
King has similar hopes and dreams.
“I hope to have the chance to turn this scholarship into a career, whether it’s in the Air Force or with airlines. I want to be a pilot,” King says.
It’s the second year in a row that a cadet in Putnam City Air Force Junior ROTC has earned the scholarship. Last year Tiffany Swallow, then a just-graduated Putnam City High student, attended the pilot training at Kansas State University.
The mission of Air Force Junior ROTC is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community, while instilling values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and sense of accomplishment.