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Tue, Feb 14, 2023

USAF Leadership Introduces Charles McGee Award

Scholarship to Provide Housing, Tuition to ROTC Cadets on Leadership Track

The Air Force has introduced the Charles McGee Leadership Award, aimed at providing tuition or housing assistance to all Air Force ROTC cadets that commission into the Air or Space Forces.

The unveiling took place at a ceremony held January 27 at the University of Maryland. The CMLA is a 2-year scholarship to help relieve financial burdens and help cadets focus on their academic and leadership development. Eligible cadets will be granted a 2-year tuition award of $18,000 per year, or have it converted to a housing benefit of up to $10,000 per year.

The scholarship will be available to all cadets who have successfully completed field training and entered the Professional Officer Course by the start of their junior year of college.

“ROTC programs play a vital role in shaping the leaders of tomorrow,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “At the University of Maryland, we are proud to offer a robust ROTC program that develops our students into well-rounded individuals who go on to serve their country and communities with distinction. Expanding scholarships for cadets is a key aspect of this, as it allows them to focus on their education and development without the added stress of financial burden. This investment in ROTC is an investment into the future of our nation.”

The scholarship is named after Brigadier General Charles McGee, a fighter pilot and Tuskegee Airman during World War II as a part of his continuing recognition for services rendered. The scholarship program "marks a significant change in how scholarships are awarded", according to USAF brass, as it reaches a niche of cadets previously ignored under existing assistance schemes.

Historically, around 40% of AFROTC cadets within the program were on some form of scholarship. In addition, over 95% were awarded to promising high school seniors with the remainder allocated to in-college freshmen and sophomore cadets. There were virtually no opportunities for cadets to obtain a scholarship after the sophomore year.

“Financial stress is one of the leading reasons that prevent otherwise driven and committed cadets from commissioning, so, for those cadets and prospective cadets, it is no longer a question of if you will get financial help through a high school or in-college scholarship—the Charles McGee Leadership Awards makes it a matter of when you receive a scholarship," said Col. Corey Ramsby, AFROTC commander. “We want cadets to focus the remainder of their time in AFROTC on development of their leadership acumen and academic course of study, rather than financial barriers.”

FMI: www.af.mil

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