CPT James Ahn Special Forces Memorial Scholarship

Capt James Ahn Memorial Scholarship Photo

Captain James Ahn, a graduate of UC Riverside and the Claremont McKenna College Army ROTC program, died in 2015 during a parachute training operation while participating with his Special Forces unit in Washington State.

For all of us who knew and loved James, he will never be forgotten. He was the consummate person and professional who was respected by everyone he came in contact with.

In James’ honor, we are sponsoring an annual scholarship of $1,000 to a Special Forces Veteran who is working towards the completion of a higher education degree.

“He had a big smile and would always grin ear to ear,” Master Sgt. Dan Linderman said. “He always found time to smile about something and made friends with our Asian counterparts. They latched onto him.”

Requirements

  • Former Special Forces Service Member

  • Full time student pursuing degree/certification completion at an accredited post secondary institution including graduate school, university, college, community college, or vocational/technical institution.

  • Applications for the 2024 Academic year are due by June 1, 2024.

Previous Scholarship Recipients

2023 Recipient, Sergeant First Class (U.S. Army, Retired), Michael “Mike” Moralez

His reflections on his career and on the Ahn Scholarship:
“I am humbled and thankful to be selected as a recipient of the CPT James Ahn Scholarship. I am beyond words; it is truly an honor to receive this award. Quite frankly, I am still in shock. It is a bit difficult to accept the scholarship and am emotional, practically in tears, as I know the fund exists because of a tragedy that befell a brother-in-arms. He was one of the great ones and is dearly missed. Though the circumstances were tragic, I know that CPT Ahn always supported his teammates in any way he could, and this scholarship is a testament to his philosophy. I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose to always seek self-improvement, exceed expectations, and never settle for anything less than my best. Like CPT Ahn’s selfless service, I am pursuing my degree for the betterment of others. Thank you, CPT James Ahn, and the Committee, for your assistance and support on this academic journey.”

2022 Recipient, Army Staff Sergeant Charles Hernandez

His reflections on his career and on the Ahn Scholarship:
“My experiences as a Special Forces Green Beret have proven to be invaluable in my life. The Special Forces Regiment took the young and impressionable kid that I was and groomed me into the driven, reliable, and confident soldier, father, and husband that I am today…I have a deep appreciation for how far an education can propel a person if they are simply given the opportunity to pursue it. I want to pay forward the gift of education to those most in need of it–especially by helping soldiers in the enlisted ranks…. It is an honor to receive this sponsorship.”

Brandon Brewington

2021 Recipient, Sergeant Major (U.S. Army, Retired) Brandon Brewington

His reflections on his career and on the Ahn Scholarship:
“I joined Special Forces shortly after the tragedy on September 11, 2001. After completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, I quickly found myself deploying to Afghanistan as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. It was evident as a young Non-Commissioned Officer that I had to step up my game, not only to perform my job but more importantly, not to fail my detachment brothers. During these experiences, I stood next to America’s finest doing work that most Americans would never hear of or even understand.

Sadly, my time in Special Forces came to an end in June 2020 as I retired with 24 years of service and a total of eleven deployments across, Afghanistan, Iraq, and several countries spanning from West and East North Africa. After retiring, I moved my family back to Nashville to help build a stronger connection with our larger family network in Tennessee. While adjusting to the foreign world of civilian life, I have continued an educational path in business to support my electrical small business and merchant wholesaler small business established over this past year.

As I reflect on my time in the military, I know my family is better because of the experiences and relationships forged during my time in Special Forces. The Captain James Ahn Memorial Scholarship is a reminder of how our Special Forces community continues to support and uplift Special Forces soldiers after their time in the regiment. Thank you for standing with my family.”

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About Gain Service Academy Admission

Gain Service Academy Admission’s mission is to help high school students obtain Service Academy appointments. The team focuses on helping students and parents learn how to position themselves on how to get into West Point, how to get into the Naval Academy, how to get into the Air Force Academy, how to get into the Merchant Marine Academy, and how to get into the Coast Guard Academy.