In a little more than a week, Jeffrey Jordan will graduate from Sacramento State. After that, he’s poised for takeoff.
Jordan is slated to graduate from Sacramento State on Saturday, May 19, with a bachelor’s degree in business. On June 1, he will be commissioned as an Air Force second lieutenant. The ceremony will take place on the State Capitol steps, and he will then begin intensive pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.
His journey from Air Force staff sergeant to Sacramento State graduate is a story in itself, a story of hard work and a steadfast determination to graduate from college. The fifth of seven children, Jordan grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. His father, an Air Force veteran, took a job just outside Atlanta, where Jordan completed high school. “I went through the Army JROTC program,” he says, “and joined the Air Force after graduation.”
Upon completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Jordan was sent to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi for additional training. From there he was ordered back to the Air Education Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, for five years before departing the South for Travis Air Force Base.
“I was glad to leave the heat,” Jordan says.
He was even more exhilarated to be recommended for a scholarship by his commanding officer at Travis. The prestigious Scholarship for Outstanding Airman to ROTC – a scholarship given only to a select few in the Air Force – prompted Jordan’s release from active duty in 2007 to get his degree at Sacramento State. It provided up to $18,000 per year for tuition and fees, an annual $900 textbook allowance and a monthly nontaxable stipend of $250-$500.
The commander who recommended Jordan for the scholarship is currently stationed in Hawaii and hopes to be at the commissioning ceremony to administer the oath. Jordan’s younger sister and brother, who are active-duty Air Force, will be there as well to give him his first salute.
Some three dozen proud friends and family will join in Jordan’s commissioning celebration, including the commander who recommended Jordan for the scholarship. Sac State’s Veterans Success Center director, Jeff Weston, whom Jordan praises for helping him make the successful transition from active duty to academia, will also be in attendance.
Jordan’s journey keeps heading southward. The committed junior officer is determined to become a C-17 pilot and complete a successful career serving his country. After that, he plans to put his business major to good use in a second career, perhaps in the airline industry.
If his past is prologue, he seems destined to get there.
For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
– Alan Miller