U.S. Navy Selects Students For 2023 Summer Flight Academy


The U.S. Navy has chosen 28 high school students from across the country to attend its eight-week 2023 Summer Flight Academy aviation program. The program includes approximately 40 hours of flight training in either a Vulcanair V.10 or Piper Warrior as well as aviation-oriented classroom work. Students selected for the academy, which was established in 2021 by Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF), attend for free with no obligations to the military.

“The primary goal of the CNAF Flight Academy is to expose diverse, young talent to Naval Aviation, and inspire them to join the profession,” said CNAF Operations Officer for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and CNAF Flight Academy Program Manager Lt. Olivia Barrau. “For these motivated students, flying a plane and completing this program can empower them to consider Naval Aviation as a viable career choice. While we hope all our Cadets join Naval Aviation, we proudly contribute to their dreams of becoming aviators in any capacity.”

Academy students finish the program with a private pilot certificate and college credit from Delaware State University (DSU), Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) or D2 Aviation School. According to the Navy, around 70 percent of the Summer Flight Academy’s alumni are now directly affiliated with the U. S. military. The program is estimated to cost approximately $26,000 per student.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. It’s NOT 28 high school students from across the country. When you hand pick people because of race then that action is racist.

    • perhaps compensatory racism in this case isn’t a bad thing? might be a step towards leveling out the current state of political imbalance in the country. now if someone could figure out a way to level out the income imbalance…

      • Its against everything the civil rights movement was for AND is illegal under Federal discrimination law. Beyond that, wrong is wrong for everyone if you really are working for equity.

        • Choosing people based on race is necessarily evil and against the Word and the teachings of MLK, who I believe would be appalled.

    • They are not chosen based on race. The field is opened to those who, traditionally, have not had access to the opportunity. Merit is still a metric. Females went through the same sexist horsefeathers years ago only to prevail.

      Deal with it.

    • I’ve seen sufficient entitlement in the white establishment, so it is an argument without legs.

      The youth being chosen are ROTC kids.

  2. ALL racism is BAD… it’s about time this country wakes up to the fact that we can’t undo sins of the past. This kind of action only encourages further racism, prejudice and entitlement mentality. We need to move on and reassert a system based on merit and talent… else where do you think we’ll end up?

  3. Beyond the blatant racist situation — well stated by Jake above — $26K per student cost (~3/4 million $$ total) for what amounts to not even a private pilot certificate is NUTS! And incurring no further debt of service time TO the Navy in return is likewise nuts. It showcases the reason that everything associated with the Government is way, way overpriced. The ‘woke’ DEI way of doing business in the military these days is driving a lot of otherwise fair-minded people out, as well. Service chiefs … knock this crappus maximus off! If I were in Congress, I’d make this my cause celebre and yank funding ASAP. Meanwhile, in another Avweb article, the USAF is having a hard time KEEPING their pilots. Geesh !!

  4. They lost me at “said CNAF Operations Officer for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”! Whenever I see those words, I know that that whatever is in there is only a bunch of WOKE, ANTI-AMERICAN, nonsense!

  5. I spent 22 years involved in Naval Aviation (1970-1992). It breaks my heart and makes me angry to see what has happened to our Military. Hopefully the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Military’s are buying into the WOKE CULTURE of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”. If not, America doesn’t stand a chance when the next War breaks out! God help us!

    • I hope that the future doesn’t put in the reality the dangers that You, Mr.Rick Ewart, are foreseeing, that, by the way, are exactly those I foresee.

    • I served during that same period, Rick. To read crap like this raises my blood pressure off the scale and breaks MY heart, too. Otherwise WELL qualified people are being passed over because some stupid Admiral (or above) wants to buy into the DEI idea. What happened to meritocracy. Some active-duty naval aviators are being passed over because they’re being told ONLY the best of the best are selected for promotion and those that don’t make the cut are still good guys. Then, somebody invents a program like THIS. We’re hosed!

  6. Diversity educational programs can generate controversy and unfounded fears among certain individuals who perceive themselves as victims. They are concerned that such initiatives diminish their opportunities or undermine the principle of selecting based solely on qualifications. Additionally, these individuals may mistakenly believe that diverse candidates are less qualified or that they are only selected to fulfill diversity quotas. Also, there are apprehensions about reverse discrimination, which may lead some to feel excluded based on their race.

    Ultimately, based on my experience, diverse-based educational programs aim to establish an impartial and inclusive educational environment where every qualified individual has an equal opportunity to succeed.

  7. Interesting comments. But imagine, what a loss it would have been if the Tuskegee Airmen, those low-income, thought to be less sthan average, Black men had not been given the opportunity to fly. Imagine, if flying was only meant for just White men. Imagine all of the great Black minds…and atheletes that would have been lost if it had not been for someone recognizing that there are many young people of color that can do great things, if only given the chance….for aviation, an extremely expensive activity that very few people of color can afford. Imagine if you removed the cost!!!!