New Cumberland, Pa --
Students at Case Western University and Kent State University got an opportunity to show off and test their military pilot skills, May 5-6.
U.S. Marines from 4th Marine Corps District brought several flight simulators to the universities to help generate interest among the students in Marine Corps aviation and officer careers. Participating students had the chance to hop into the simulators and fly different helicopters and jets used by the Marine Corps.
“This was pretty cool,” said Darius Carlton, a student at Kent State and Kent native. “I was walking around and one of the Marines told me to come down. It was worth it. I got to learn how to fly and talk to the recruiters.”
“We take the simulators to the college campus to build awareness and enthusiasm among the college students and campus faculty regarding Marine officer programs,” said Captain Richard Jacobs, the 4th Marine Corps Districts aviation assistant for officer procurement and a Millville, Pennsylvania, native.
The flight simulators have full motion technology where when flying the simulator moves as if you are actually in a real jet or helicopter.
“The flight simulators provide a valuable and high fidelity military flying experience, giving the public a taste of what it takes to tactically employ a military aircraft,” said Jacobs.
Marine Corps pilots attend the longest training in the Marine Corps. The candidates must attend 3 schools before becoming a pilot, with the length of the school depending on which type of aircraft the Marine will pilot. Training may take from one to 2 1/2 to complete.
Pilots are officers, meaning they have to obtain a degree, go through Officer Candidate School then they will go to their job schools. “Marine aviators are Marine officers first. We place a high premium on character and leadership ability,” said Jacobs. “Flying a state-of-the-art multimillion dollar weapons system is just a bonus. My advice to a prospective aviator would be to do well in school and take on a myriad of leadership roles within sports and other college extracurricular activities.”