On Tuesday, May 16, five Okaloosa County high school JROTC Cadets and one University of South Florida AFROTC cadet, a graduate of Navarre High School, were recognized and awarded scholarships at the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base.
Each year, the Eglin Air and Space Force Association (Eglin AFA) scholarship committee reviews and scores scholarship applications submitted by cadets. Selections are based on the cadet’s strong academic achievement and demonstrated leadership accomplishments within their JROTC unit.
In addition, each student received a certificate of special recognition from Congressman Matt Gaetz.
- Cadet Colonel Mark Almazan, Fort Walton Beach High School, $4,000 Cliff Long Sr. Leadership Scholarship. Almazan has been accepted into the AFROTC at the University of West Florida, where he will major in major in Business.
- Cadet Major Kayla Browne, Fort Walton Beach High School, $5,000 Maggie Hsu Scholarship. Browne has been accepted into the AFROTC at the University of Central Florida, where she will major in Aerospace Engineering.
- Cadet Colonel Dawn Kerlin, Fort Walton Beach High School, $4,000 Jimmy Doolittle Scholarship. Kerlin has been accepted into the AFROTC at the University of Central Florida, where she will major in Biochemistry.
- Cadet Colonel Paige Lettelleir, Choctawhatchee High School, $4,000 Jimmy Nabors Memorial Scholarship. Lettelleir has been accepted into the AFROTC at the University of West Florida, where she plans to major in Biomedical Sciences.
- Cadet Colonel Kayla McCarthy, University of South Florida, and a graduate of Navarre High School, $4,000 Colonel Douglas and Carol Hardin Memorial Scholarship. McCarthy is an AFROTC cadet at the University of South Florida, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Russian.
- Cadet Colonel Erik Sirmans, Niceville High School, $5,000 General Bill Kirk Scholarship. Sirmans is still weighing his options on where he plans to attend college.
The Choctawhatchee (Choctaw) High School JROTC Color Guard participated in the event by posting the colors. Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt) Reginald Washington, also of Choctaw, sang a moving rendition of the National Anthem.