Student Highlight : Tyler Gilson on His Way to Getting Wings of Gold

Tyler Gilson has always enjoyed seeing the world from above. Since the recent graduate was a young child, he looked forward to vacation simply because he knew that he was getting on a plane to get from one destination to the next. The first step in his lifelong dream recently became a reality when he was accepted into Norwich University, a senior military college in Northfield Vermont, where he will begin tackling goals to become a Navy pilot. Gilson is looking forward to the physically and mentally challenging college experience.

What Type of Training Will You Have to Undergo to Become a Navy Pilot?

I will need a bachelor’s degree to start the process of becoming a pilot. Then I will need to pass the Aviation Selection Test Battery which, if I pass, will allow me to qualify to become a pilot. After passing the test I will need to enlist in flight school. From there I will move onto primary training where I will get hands on instruction in operating and repairing aircrafts. I will spend roughly 100 hours in flight. At the end of the primary training I will specialize in a particular aircraft of my choice. I will then need to go through intermediate training and advanced training. Finally, after graduating I will get my Wings of Gold. I chose the Navy because I did some research and they are in desperate need for pilots. I also found out that the other military branches don’t fly as often and that I would have a better chance of becoming a pilot in the navy.

What Have You Done or Are Doing to Prepare for Your Upcoming College Career?

I have been running at least a mile and a half every day. I have also been doing calisthenics and weightlifting. I am going to start looking at flight schools around Norwich so I can get a head start on getting my wings.

What Will you Miss About Winthrop When you Leave for College?

I will miss my friends and my family. Living in Winthrop, my whole family was just a short walk or a two-minute drive away. I met my group of friends sophomore year and they have been my boys ever since, so I’m going to miss them a lot, especially going to a college so far away.

Who is Your Role Model?

My role model is my dad. He works hard for us and always makes sure that we have everything we need. He puts his family before anyone else and being older and more mature I can actually see that and realize the sacrifices he makes for his us. I remember when I was younger, I would have a lot of early morning hockey games that were around an hour away. He would always wake up about 30 minutes before me to make sure I had all my hockey pads in the same area. (It’s a hockey players job to pack up their own bags). Some nights he would have to work late but even then, he would still be up before me, ready to go sit at a rink for an hour to watch me play. That is why my dad is my role model. He will travel far and wide to make sure his family is happy and healthy.

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