The Air Force JROTC Flight Academy, Chief of Staff Private Pilot Scholarship program, is a collaborative effort between the aerospace industry and the Air Force to address a national pilot shortage. The Flight Academy is intended to inspire and encourage high school youth toward aviation careers.
Currently, Boeing predicts an annual need to hire 6,000 civilian pilots a year for the next 20 years. Military needs quickly push that number over 8,000. According to industry and military leadership, the nation is facing a pilot shortage “crisis."
In 2018, Air Force Junior ROTC awarded scholarships to 120 students, who are now scheduled to attend a flight school this Summer at one of six partnering universities. While AFJROTC’s primary mission is to develop citizens of character, these high school students will earn their private pilot’s license and up to 12 college credits. The programs will run approximately six to eight weeks and starts mid-to late May.
The Flight Academy also addresses a secondary national issue of diversity. Aviation is one of the least diverse professions in industry. Currently, women make up less than 6% of pilots and minorities represent less than 10%. AFJROTC currently has 120,000 cadets enrolled in high schools across the nation and is the Air Force’s most diverse program. Minorities represent 58% of the AFJROTC student body and females make up 40%. Selected cadets for the flight academy represented female and minorities more than three times the national averages.
The Air Force has committed to funding the program for 250 students in 2019 and 500 in 2020.
Current partnering universities are:
Auburn University, AL
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
Kansas State University Polytechnic, KS
Liberty University, VA
Purdue University, IN
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Summer 2018: Inaugural year – 120 cadets attend one of six partnering universities
03 Oct to 14 Dec 2018: Application window is open
01 Nov to 08 Dec 2018: Cadets complete Aviation Qualification Test
15 Dec 2018: Final application deadline
08 Jan to 12 Jan 2019: Selection board convenes at HQ AFJROTC
28 Jan 2019: Cadets are notified of selection
28 Jan to 28 Feb 2019: Class I Flight Physical must be complete
01 Mar to 30 Mar: Cadets are matched to universities
May to Aug 2019: 2019 Summer Flight Academies in session
60 West Maxwell Blvd., Bldg. 835
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112