This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation that provides JROTC students with scholarships to help them become pilots.
Washington, DC — This week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation that provides JROTC students with scholarships to help them become pilots.
The Air Force and the aviation industry overall face a critical pilot shortage. Certificates are expensive and earning them is time-consuming. And the demand for pilots has only grown. Our military has more aircraft to fly, and the existing force is aging out of work and retiring.
The Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited Act, named for the term pilots use to describe ideal flying conditions, provides scholarships for pilot’s certificates to students in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, otherwise known as JROTC. All branches of the U.S. Military sponsor JROTC programs in local high schools to teach leadership, as well as civic and technical education. JROTC does not require a commitment to military service, but many students use the program to lay groundwork for a military career.
According to the Air Force, more than 90 percent of American military pilots are white, and more than 94 percent are men. The pilot’s license scholarships will encourage early exploration of careers in aviation within the JROTC ranks, which are significantly more diverse, with minorities and women making up 58 percent and 40 percent of JROTC participants, respectively.
“As a pilot in the Air National Guard, I know firsthand the risks we face as a nation when there’s a shortage of qualified pilots for our military and commercial airlines,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “It’s why I‘m proud to introduce the CAVU Act with my colleague Congresswoman Horn and help alleviate this issue. Our legislation will help encourage young people to explore a career in aviation by having the Department of Defense pay for JROTC students to pursue their pilot’s certificates. This would reduce the financial burden to flight school and increase the pool of qualified pilots.”
“This commonsense, bipartisan legislation solves two problems,” Congresswoman Horn said. “It addresses the military pilot shortage and lack of diversity. And it creates another pathway to success for our young people. I’m grateful my colleague Congressman Kinzinger worked with me on this important issue.”