By Professor Stephen K. Cusick, Chair Graduate Programs College of Aeronautics
I recently had the pleasure to recommend Mr. Kristopher Jackson, Aeronautical Science with Flight ’12, for NAVY Officer Candidate School (OCS) and flight training as a Naval Aviator. As his professor and advisor, I have known Kris for over three years, and I consider him to be one of the best candidates I have ever seen in my career as a Naval Officer and aviator.
A native of East Hartford, CT, Kris has demonstrated superb maturity and leadership throughout his college career. He was selected for the PHI ETA SIGMA national honor society, and has earned awards and scholarships including selection as Outstanding Student of the Year for 2011. He comes from a U.S. Marine Corps family background, both of which were Air Traffic Controllers, and he displays a very strong desire to be a U.S. Navy fighter pilot.
His performance in his college career has been truly remarkable. As a freshman he quickly earned his FAA Private Pilot’s license and was selected for the college’s prestigious “Fast Track Program” which is awarded to our most promising students who are chosen for accelerated training to Certified Flight Instructor. He has earned all his FAA pilot ratings in rapid succession and this year he was selected as a Flight Instructor for FIT Aviation, teaching younger students how to fly. He has been on the Dean’s list repeatedly, and his GPA places him in a good position to graduate with honors in December of 2012, a full semester early.
It was no surprise to me that Kris was accepted into the NAVY OCS program and will be reporting to Navy Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island in January 2013. This is a top 1% in the nation selection! On Wednesday, August 22, two Navy representatives came over from the NAVY OSC in Pensacola to the Florida Tech Commons Center for Student Success and swore Kris in as a Naval Cadet. Unfortunately, Kris’s parents were unable to attend, but thanks to modern technology, we were able to share this momentous achievement with them through a laptop and a Skype connection.
Kris consistently displays outstanding motivation, aptitude and leadership skills to be very successful as a Naval Aviator and I look forward to watching him rise, the sky is the limit.