The Tailhook Educational Foundation

2017 Scholarships


Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the LtCol ROBERT A. CHRISTY, USMC (Ret), SCHOLARSHIP - Eric Wahlsted

LtCol ROBERT A. CHRISTY, USMC(Ret), SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Jon R. Winthrop, President and CEO,
The Air Group, Inc., Van Nuys, California

LtCol Christy holds a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton and is an associate member of Experimental Test Pilots. As a Marine fighter pilot, he flew two tours of duty in Vietnam, one as squadron Commanding Officer, and commanded the flight test division at NAS Point Mugu. In 1976, LtCol Christy formed Golden Jet Airways in Los Angeles, and in 1980 co-founded The Air Group, a business jet sales and charter service where he was the executive Fortney vice president for operations. LtCol Christy retired December 2007.

Eric Wahlsted


Louisville, Kentucky

• Duke University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the LCDR KIERAN “TATER” O’CONNER, BLUE ANGELS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Keely Morgan

LCDR KIERON “TATER” O’CONNER,
BLUE ANGELS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Jon R. Winthrop, President and CEO,
The Air Group, Inc., Van Nuys, California

This scholarship is awarded in memory of LT Kieron O’Connor, USN, who was killed 28 October 1999. Kieron was a native of Burtonsville, Maryland, and graduated from the Catholic University of American in 1988 with a Master’s Degree in Accounting. Commissioned through AOCS, he received his wings of gold in October 1990. Kieron flew the FA-18 with VFA-106, VFA-81 and VFA-131. Kieron joined The Blue Angels in September 1998 and accumulated more than 2,000 flight hours and 295 arrested landings.

Keely Morgan


College Station, Texas

• Texas A&M

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the VR-57 SCHOLARSHIP - Benjamin Jones

VR-57 SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by CAPT David Clark, USNR(Ret), MC (FS)

Benjamin Jones


Chantilly, Virginia

• Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the LT KEVIN COLLING, BLUE ANGELS, MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Sarah Pabst

LT KEVIN COLLING, BLUE ANGELS, MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Jon R. Winthrop, President and CEO,
The Air Group, Inc., Van Nuys, California

This scholarship is awarded in memory of LT Kevin Colling, USN, a Blue Angel who was killed 28 October 1999. Kevin graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1989. Commissioned through AOCS, he earned his wings in May 1992. Kevin flew the F-14 Tomcat with VF-21 and the FA-18 Hornet with VFA-37 and VFA-106. He was the 1998 Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic Pilot of the Year. He joined The Blue Angels in September 1999 and had more than 1,500 flight hours and 350 carrier arrested landings.

Sarah Pabst


Niceville, Florida

• University of Alabama

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the
	 LCDR KEVIN KOJAK DAVIS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP, BLUE ANGELS SCHOLARSHIP - James Corcoran

LCDR KEVIN “KOJAK” DAVIS
MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP, BLUE ANGELS SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Jon R. Winthrop, President and CEO,
The Air Group, Inc., Van Nuys, California

This scholarship is awarded in memory of LT Kevin Davis USN, a Blue Angel pilot who was killed 01 June 2016. Kevin was a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1996. He received his wings of gold in June 1999. Kevin flew the F-14 Tomcat with VF-101 and VF-11, and transitioned to VFA-125 and the FA-18 in July 2003. A 2004 graduate of TOPGUN, Kevin joined The Blue Angels in September 2005 and had accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours and 200 arrested landings.

James Corcoran


Saline, Michigan

• University of Michigan

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of THE LTJG STERLING G. GILLIAM SCHOLARSHIP - Sarah Burlingame

THE LTJG STERLING G. GILLIAM SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by his son, CAPT Sterling G. Gilliam Jr. and Family

This scholarship is awarded in memory of LTJG Sterling G. Gilliam Sr., a native of Franklinton, N.C., who served honorably during World War II in the Pacific theater. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to civilian life in Henderson, N.C., and like so many of his generation, raised a family, shaped a community and helped build this great nation. He strongly supported education in his community until his death in 1972.

Sarah Burlingame


Steilacoom, Washington

• Liberty University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the CAPTAIN JEEFF “KOOCH” KUSS USMC BLUE ANGELS, MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Michaela Lindsey

CAPTAIN JEFF “KOOCH” KUSS USMC
BLUE ANGELS, MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Jon R. Winthrop, President and CEO,
The Air Group, Inc., Van Nuys, California

This scholarship is awarded in memory of CAPT Jeff Kuss, USMC who was killed 02 June 2016. Jeff was a native of Durango, CO, and graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Commissioned through OCS in 2006, Jeff received his wings of gold in November 2009. Jeff flew the FA-18 with VFA-125 and VMFA-312. A 2012 graduate of TOPGUN, Jeff joined The Blue Angels in September 2014 and had accumulated more than 1,400 flight hours and 175 arrested landings.

Michaela Lindsey


Northampton, Massachusetts

• Accepted to Barnard College & Marquette University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the THE “CHICK” TUCKER SCHOLARSHIP - Jacob Glenister

THE “CHICK” TUCKER SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by CAPT Gene Tucker, USN(Ret)

This scholarship is awarded in memory of LCDR “Chick” Tucker, S.C., USNR. Chick held two master’s degrees in physical education and worked as a civilian for the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation division as director at Indian Head, Maryland; King’s Bay, Georgia; Stockton, Calif.; and Yorktown, Virginia. He was commissioned an ensign in the Supply Corps Reserves by his brother, CAPT Gene Tucker, in 1982 and spent his career attached to the Navy Cargo Handling Battalion based at Cheatham Annex, Virginia. Although he enjoyed being a “Combat Stevedore,” he took advantage of the opportunity to earn his Supply Corps. wings as an aviation warfare specialist during training aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43) in 1984. He was proud of his several lengthy periods of active duty, and especially of his participation in Operation Desert Storm. While deployed he was awarded the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals for exceptional leadership and technical expertise during critical wartime cargo handling operations. He was training officer of the Cargo Handling Battalion when he died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in April 1993.

Jacob Glenister


Allentown, Pennsylvania

• Accepted to Pennsylvania State University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the DeWOLF SCHOLARSHIP -  Erin Driscoll

DeWOLF SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Steve, Tammy and Jake DeWolf

This scholarship is in honor of Col James G. DeWolf, USAF(Ret) and his wife Frances.

Erin Driscoll


Cohasset, Massachusetts

• University of New Hampshire

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the CAPT RICHARD L. “ZEKE” CORMIER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Christopher Cruz

CAPT RICHARD L. “ZEKE” CORMIER
MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by the Blue Angels Association

This scholarship is awarded in the name of CAPT Richard L. “Zeke” Cormier, who received his wings in July 1942. In 1944 he became a Hellcat ace in the Pacific with 8 kills, four in a single flight. Following the war he had two tours with The Blue Angels and served as Commander, Carrier Air Group 11. After retirement in 1964, he served on the board of the San Diego Aerospace Museum for 28 years. Zeke was honored with Tailhook’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2000. CAPT Cormier died in February 2001.

Christopher Cruz


Virginia Beach, Virginia

• Accepted to Duke University

Tailhook Educational Foundation awardee of the RADM LEONARD A. “SWOOSE” SNEAD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Nathan Tewell

RADM LEONARD A. “SWOOSE” SNEAD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Sponsored by Pratt & Whitney Military Engines

This award honors the memory of RADM Leonard A. “Swoose” Snead by Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. Snead served in several fleet junior officer billets prior to attending U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS). He progressed through a number of assignments that culminated as head of the Flying Qualities and Performance Branch at National Test Pilot School. Immediately thereafter, he assumed command of VA-75, the Navy’s first fleet operational A-6A squadron, which deployed to Vietnam the following year. He later commanded USS Forrestal (CVA-59) and was selected for Flag rank in February 1971, and in July was named manager for the F-14 TOMCAT aircraft and systems program. In 1974 he assumed command of Fighter Airborne Early Warning Wing Pacific, at NAS Miramar. Snead retired in 1976 with 30 years of commissioned service and joined Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach, Florida, as manager of Navy programs. He was appointed vice president of Pratt & Whitney in 1983 and retired from the company in 1992.

Nathan Tewel


Fairfax Station, Virginia

• Accepted to University of Virginia