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Air Force ROTC Cadets Receive Nuclear Scholarships

Airman with textbooks.

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- All it took to convince him was a desire to make a difference after a visit from a general officer from Air Force Global Strike Command and an Air Force offer to pay for his last two years of school.

With a scholarship offer on the table and the words from Brig. Gen. Fred B. Stoss III still ringing in his ears, Air Force ROTC Cadet Jordan Pryor volunteered to enter the nuclear and missile operations career field after finishing his final year at Purdue University.

Pryor is one of 30 AFROTC cadets who have accepted one- or two-year nuclear and missile operations scholarships since the Air Force started targeting "high-quality" students in March 2014 to meet officer requirements in the career field, according to officials at Headquarters Air Force ROTC here.

Stoss, who visited the Purdue ROTC detachment in September, is the director of Strategic Plans, Programs, Requirements and Assessments at AFGSC, headquartered at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.

The cadet accepted his in-state tuition scholarship in October 2014.

The biochemistry major admits that the job was not even on his radar scope before Stoss' recruiting visit.

"That is what really opened my eyes to the career field," said Pryor, who had originally planned to become an acquisition officer. "It really had not been something I had even thought about until that point. General Stoss explained the work schedule and duties, and it seemed interesting. That, combined with the opportunity for a scholarship, was what swayed me to volunteer."

Additionally, ROTC officials report that they will be awarding 20 three-year scholarships to college sophomores in November 2014.

The scholarship incentives are part of the strides the Air Force and the command made across the missile community to recruit the "best and brightest future missileers."

Pryor said he's aware of the difficult times the command has gone through, but he's willing to do what he can to be a part of the solution.

"I look forward to begin working in the career field during its rebuilding stages," he said. "That is what I look forward to being a part of. I hope that when I am leaving the Air Force, I can look back and see a distinct change in how the career field is viewed."

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