BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — A graduation ceremony was held Friday as Fairmont State University honored its second cohort of U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (AFJROTC) cadets.
The ceremony took place in Fairmont State’s hangar at the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center. Eight students graduated from the program.
Out of the eight graduates, West Virginia had one representative. Connor Lane, from Shinnston, was recognized at the event.
Students received recognition for completing the six-and-a-half-week Summer 2022 U.S AFJROTC Flight Academy. Despite the time spent in the program being short, retired Lieutenant Colonel and Director of the Aviation Center of Excellence, Joel W. Kirk has seen a lot of growth in the young men.
“Maturing process in that amount of time when you’re talking about never flying an airplane to being alone in a $500,000 airplane it demands some maturity at some levels,” Kirk said. “They come in as exceptional students and they leave more exceptional students.”
Other flight students were awarded through the Don Judy Commercial Flight Scholarship programs and the Mountaineer Heroes of Honor Foundation.
Brayden Cummings was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Award. The ACE Leadership award went to Benny Chung. Colonel Bryan Preece, Commander of the 130th Airwing gave the keynote address at the ceremony.