Daniel Leander was selected to receive the Commander’s Scholarship through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. It is a $100,000 scholarship which covers tuition, books, fees and a monthly stipend.
Leander is a sophomore cadet studying as an engineering major working to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
The ROTC program gives military interested students the opportunity to receive a college degree while focusing on obtaining the skills needed in the military or air force.
“This ROTC scholarship is an answer to prayer, as it provides financial needs that I have had with college,” Leander said. “I’m grateful to the U.S. Air Force for believing in me.”
Leander has done nothing short of exemplary in his field, showing he deserves the scholarship. His cumulative GPA is 3.35 and has received the Warrior Flight award, Physical Fitness award and the Academic Honors award in the ROTC program. He was selected for this scholarship by the ROTC commander and is the only sophomore to receive it this year.
The ORU program is small, containing only 4 cadets, but it is part of the Oklahoma State University which has approximately 80 cadets. ROTC has a scholarship program for students who go above and beyond to achieve their academic goals while working toward their dream of serving in the military.
Leander was raised to value God and country. He loves hunting, fishing, being in the outdoors and both of his grandfathers served during World War II.
“My dad also took me to military airshows as I was growing up, which helped me understand the value of airpower,” said Leander. “This worldview helped me understand the importance of defending our nation from foreign threats and led me to be interested in a career with the Air Force.”
Leander graduated from Victory Christian School and knew he was called into the armed forces and planned on joining ROTC, but was still unsure of God’s direct calling.
When he walked across the stage at his high school graduation, Pastor Sharon Daughtery prayed for him.
“Consider service in the armed forces,” she said after the prayer.
He said this was a confirmation from the Lord.
“There was no way she could have known I was considering a career with the Air Force,” said Leander.
Part of receiving this scholarship involves signing a commitment to serve at least four years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force upon college graduation. Approximately four percent of air force personnel have the opportunity to become pilots. He will be evaluated for his pilot potential post-graduation.
“I am excited to serve my country when I graduate,” Leander said. “Once commissioned as a second lieutenant, I look forward to supporting the ground forces and keeping them safe.”