Former Green Beret aims for NASA career with a computer engineering degree
TAMPA, Fla. (June 14, 2017) – University of South Florida student and former U.S. Army Green Beret Joshua Pericles is among 61 U.S. military service veterans and military spouses from across the nation recently named 2017 Tillman Military Scholars by the Pat Tillman Foundation. Pericles, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, was awarded a $10,000 annual scholarship to complete his degree.
The Pat Tillman Foundation recognizes individuals for “their military service, leadership and academic excellence.” This year’s group will receive over $1.1 million in scholarships to pursue higher education and continue their service in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts.
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla. with a strong desire to serve his country, Pericles enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2006. After successfully completing Special Forces Assessment and Selection, he attended the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School where he completed the Special Forces Qualification Course, earning his Green Beret. Pericles was deployed to South America and Afghanistan where he conducted missions during Operation Enduring Freedom. Pericles says he experienced first-hand the difference the United States can make in the lives of people being targeted and oppressed by militant forces.
After serving more than eight years, Pericles decided to separate from the Army and pursue a degree in engineering. Wanting to continue to work in an environment where he would be presented with difficult problems in dynamic situations, Pericles set his sights on a career with NASA. In the fall of 2016, he was selected for the NASA Pathways co-op program and is currently working with aerospace engineers while completing his degree. Upon successful completion of the program and placement within the agency, Pericles plans to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering with hopes of working on human spaceflight projects.
“Every time I see the U.S. flag, I am reminded of the ideals it represents and the freedoms that were won and preserved by those who defended it,” says Pericles. “I am pleased to be able to honor Pat Tillman and his ultimate sacrifice by completing my education and working on programs for the benefit of our great nation.”
“As a Tillman University partner, we are thrilled to welcome Joshua as the 16th USF scholar to our cohort of Tillman Military Scholars on campus,” said Larry Braue, director of the USF Office of Veteran Success and retired U.S. Army veteran. “It will truly be a pleasure to watch Joshua achieve his educational and career aspirations this coming year.”
USF is consistently ranked as one of the most veteran-friendly schools in the nation and is currently ranked No. 1 by Military Times.
For the full list of 2017 Tillman Military Scholars, including service branches, institutions and fields of study, visit the Pat Tillman Foundation website. For more information about USF’s Office of Veteran Success, visit www.usf.edu/veterans.
About the Pat Tillman Foundation
In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships–building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit www.PatTillmanFoundation.org.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.