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2023 STEM Aviation Expo

The Tuskegee Airman Legacy still contributing to educating, inspiring and motivating the next generation of aviation's future. Join us this summer at STEM Aviation Expo.

Johnny Montgomery III

Tuscumbia, AL

     A blast of air, the ground trembled beneath me–I squinted up into the gleaming sun, shielding my eyes from the reflection of light rays against metal. There it was–the soaring vessel, her wings spanning broad against the horizon. It was at that moment I wanted nothing more than to be up there, flying my own. I watched as my dream took flight before me.
    I grew up in an Air Force family that attended air shows the same way southern families attend church on Sundays. Flying runs in my blood; I am the product of a generation of surveyors of the sky.
Even before my first flight as a kid, I had an unquestionable love for flying rooted deep within me. There’s an incomparable thrill I get when I take off from the runway, the world disappearing behind me in a blur of motion and color. I live for that rush– the same rush I get when I ride my motorcycle, another passion of mine.
    I recently returned from attending the Air Force Academy for two years. I am currently looking to finish my education at the University of Tuskegee. I plan to finish my degree and continue my journey to become an Air Force pilot.   My goal is to attend Euro Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training to become an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter pilot in the Air Force. There is a legacy of courageous men and women who have flown before me, and I hope to remain in the same line of courage and excellence. I have big shoes to fill, but thankfully, I’ve been mentored along my journey, continually being supported by those generous enough to share their wisdom and experience with me.
    As the second recipient of the Red Tails Foundation, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue a passion that has been passed down generationally through my bloodline. I’m young and my journey has been amazing and full of opportunities, but I am only where I am now because of the pioneering bravery of those who have carved out a path before me. I hope to one day bless others by mentoring them in the same way I’ve been poured into.

Johnny Montgomery III
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