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Battle Ground AFJROTC cadet earns flight scholarship

Air Force is investing $2.4 million to teach 120 of its JROTC cadets how to fly

BATTLE GROUND — Battle Ground High School junior Taylor Harpe was recently named as a recipient of the 2018 Air Force Chief of Staff Flight Academy Private Pilot Scholarship.

Harpe is in his third year as an Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC) cadet, is the captain of the air rifle team, and is one of the group’s squadron commanders.

Battle Ground High School junior Taylor Harpe is a recipient of the 2018 Air Force Chief of Staff Flight Academy Private Pilot Scholarship. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground School District
Battle Ground High School junior Taylor Harpe is a recipient of the 2018 Air Force Chief of Staff Flight Academy Private Pilot Scholarship. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground School District

The Air Force is investing $2.4 million to teach 120 of its JROTC cadets how to fly. This is the first such scholarship and Harpe was one of 620-plus applicants from across nearly 900 AFJROTC units in the country who competed for the honor. Recipients of the newly launched AFJROTC Flight Academy will complete classes this summer at one of six partner universities, with each course lasting between seven and nine weeks.

The application process required an intensive aviation knowledge exam, endorsements from teachers and counselors, and a physical fitness assessment. There were six cadets from BGHS who applied for the scholarship.

“We are very proud of all the cadets who competed for this coveted scholarship,” said Lieutenant Colonel Andy Woodrow, senior aerospace science instructor at Battle Ground High School. “While Cadet Harpe will not necessarily become a military pilot when he finishes high school and there is no military commitment after finishing the program, this is the first step in discovering flight and possibly earning his private pilot’s license by the end of the summer.”

According to Brigadier General Michael Koscheski, director of the Air Force Aircrew Task Force, the flight training experience will have a positive impact on the overall national crisis of pilot shortages in the military and civil aviation. The program is designed to select cadets who are potentially interested in an aviation career and expose them to flying operations as well as programs and infrastructures around aviation.

More information about the AFJROTC program can be found at http://bghs.battlegroundps.org/air-force-jrotc .

Information provided by Battle Ground School District.

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