DAHLONEGA, GA (05/24/2022)– Eight University of North Georgia’s (UNG) cadets completed a 12-week aviation ground school during the spring 2022 semester. It provided a valuable experience for those who want to commission into the Army’s aviation branch and prepared them for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot written knowledge test.
Tyson Rumley from Monroe, GA, was one of those cadets.
Carson Ash, a UNG sophomore, grew up watching his father work on helicopters as an Army aircraft mechanic, and it inspired him to pursue a commission in the Army’s aviation branch. Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Ash was grateful to be in the course that supplemented some of the private flight lessons he receives in his hometown.
“Going to work with my dad, seeing the helicopters, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Ash, who is pursuing a degree in finance, said. “Being in the air, it’s fun and it’s a challenge.”
Stan Allen, an FAA-certified instructor and longtime pilot, taught the cadets for two hours each Thursday at the Military Leadership Center.
The course was offered with no out-of-pocket expense to the cadets as the Office of Leadership and Global Engagement funded this professional development opportunity.
Taking the class also showed initiative on the part of the cadets, as it was on top of their traditional coursework and required military science classes. Zoe Kinzie, a sophomore pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a concentration in forensics, jumped at the opportunity to gain this experience. She enjoyed the knowledge, advice, and stories Allen shared.
“It’s a really good opportunity for cadets to learn about their possible future branch,” Kinzie said. “And it’s a really fun thing to learn about aviation.”
Retired Lt. Col. Heath Williams, UNG’s director of federal liaison and military education coordinator, is excited cadets took advantage of this course. As one of four officers to commission from UNG into the aviation branch in 1989, he had no such training while in the Corps of Cadets. Though he and his classmates graduated from the Army’s flight school, he is glad current cadets will have a leg up when trying to become officers in the aviation branch.
“We want to give our cadets all the tools they need to be successful in their preferred branch,” Williams said.
Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, the University of North Georgia comprises five campuses united by a single mission focused on academic excellence and academic and co-curricular programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society. The University of North Georgia is a University System of Georgia leadership institution and is The Military College of Georgia. With almost 19,000 students, the University of North Georgia is one of the state’s largest public universities. The university offers more than 100 programs of study ranging from certificate and associate degrees to doctoral programs.