Senior Spotlight *December Graduate* – Jason Myers
This December we will be highlighting graduating senior, Jason Myers.
Jason is from Troy, Ohio and came to Oklahoma to study here at the School of Meteorology. He told us that he has always been interested in the weather and Oklahoma was the perfect place for him to study meteorology alongside aviation.
When Jason was deciding on which college to attend, the National Weather Center and a desire to experience severe weather in Oklahoma drew him in.
In his 9 semesters here at OU, he has been very involved in the Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL), OU SCAN, and he even volunteered at the National Weather Festival each year. In addition to all of that, he was also enrolled in the Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Crops) program here at OU. Though meteorology studies can be difficult, Jason says the hardest thing he overcame during college was training to become a pilot. Jason tells his story,
“Meteorology is a major that is highly sought after by the Air Force due to the need for Weather Officers. To be able to get a pilot slot I had to work extremely hard to have all scores maximized since only 4-6 meteorology majors are chosen to be pilots nationally. This involved getting as good of grades as possible in meteorology leading up to the selection board, which was early in the spring semester of my senior year. Along with this, I had to do extra work in AFROTC (Air Force ROTC) to make sure I was in a position to be selected. This included working as the Cadet Wing Commander the spring semester of my senior year. This is the top cadet position in AFROTC so it was extremely demanding. I had to lead 150 cadets, managing day to day operations and a total reorganization of the cadet wing. I had to do all of this while still taking classes with the School of Meteorology. This took very precise time management to be able to handle the workload of classes along with the workload as Cadet Wing Commander.”
It is not as very common for meteorology students to graduate in December, but Jason chose to stay one extra semester after completing his meteorology course work. When asked why he told us,
“I am graduating in December mainly because of ROTC. Commissioning into the Air Force as an officer is done by fiscal year, which means that any failed class can push you out of that fiscal year, jeopardizing your chances at being an officer. To remedy this situation, I decided to push my graduation back to December to get into fiscal year 2020, just in case I needed to retake a class. This decision also reduced my course load in critical upper-class semesters, so it allowed me to get better grades overall and have less workload. I never needed to retake a class, but the decision to push back my graduation is likely what allowed me to get a pilot slot. By having the extra year, I was able to build up my resume and take on positions in AFROTC that made me much more competitive for selection to be a pilot.”
While splitting his time between the School of Meteorology and ROTC, Jason was able to maintain a 3.7 GPA. Although he was very busy, he enjoyed social outing with OWL and he always made time for OU football. He said,
“I love football, so going to football games is amazing. I have been selected to be on the Joint ROTC Color Guard multiple times, so I have had the opportunity to present the colors just before the games. This also allows us to experience the game from the sideline, which is completely different than the experience from the stands. ”
After graduation, Jason will not be going too far,
“I will be attending the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program (ENJJPT), ‘the world’s premier combat pilot training program’, at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls Texas. The mission of ENJJPT is “To produce the world’s finest NATO pilots with the skills and attitude to succeed in Fighter Aviation.” This program trains 50% of United States Air Force fighter pilots along with pilots from 13 other NATO allies.”
Congratulations Jason on all you have accomplished in your time at OU!