Lately, Southeastern University (SEU) has been hosting a group of 16 cadets on its Lakeland campus as a part of the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) Flight Academy Program. As one of only 24 institutions across the nation awarded a contract with the AFJROTC Flight Academy, SEU is in its third year of hosting the eight-week program.
The cadets originate from overseas and all across the country, including Puerto Rico and the states of Texas, Colorado, Missouri, Alaska, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida. Of the participating cadets, 13 are juniors and seniors in high school, two come from the Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colo., and one is from the ROTC program at Baylor University.
As a part of completing the program, the cadets will be receiving their private pilot’s license. 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. 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.