FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — TOPGUN Fighter Foundation has established an annual scholarship through the Tailhook Educational Foundation to support the academic aspirations of the children and grandchildren of Naval Aviation veterans and active carrier aviators.

“We are always looking for ways to pay it forward and support our Tailhookers and their families who have given so much to our country,” said E. Matthew ‘Whiz’ Buckley, Founder and Chairman of TOPGUN Fighter Foundation. “What better way to show appreciation than helping fund the education of their children and grandchildren while enriching their knowledge of Naval Aviation. I am honored and humbled to wear the wings of gold and defend this great country and putting the ladder down for the next generation of Naval Aviators is the least I can do.”

E. Matthew ‘Whiz’ Buckley, TOPGUN Fighter Foundation’s founder, was a F/A-18 Hornet Instructor and flew 44 combat missions over Iraq, being awarded 2 Strike/Flight Air Medals by the President of the United States. The annual scholarship was a natural fit to help countless children and grandchildren of Naval Aviation veterans and active carrier aviators. The scholarship will be funded by a $60,000 donation made to the Tailhook Educational Foundation. The permanent scholarship will use the $3000 annual yield to support each year’s grant payout.

“We are extremely grateful for the charitable support of organizations like TOPGUN Fighter Foundation whose generosity will help make dreams come true for our Naval Aviation legacies,” said Rear Adm. (Ret.) JJ Quinn, Chairman of the Board, Tailhook Educational Foundation. “TOPGUN Fighter Foundation’s contribution of a perennial scholarship will make a measurable, positive difference in the lives of our Naval Aviation legacy students and our nation’s future leaders for years to come.”  

TEF is a nonprofit organization founded in February 1992. The Foundation’s mission is to educate the nation’s public with regard to the history and present-day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country’s national security. The foundation aims to support the Tailhook Association, distribute The Hook magazine to schools throughout the nation at no cost to the schools, support U.S Navy and Naval Aviation leadership, and provide scholarships to qualified applicants.

TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year. A number of TEF grants are awarded to students pursuing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students in obtaining a higher education.

To be eligible for consideration for a TEF scholarship, an individual must be a high school graduate and the natural, step, or adopted child or grandchild of a current or former (U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Coast Guard) Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Aircrewman.  Also eligible are individuals or children/ grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier in a Carrier Air Wing, Ship’s company, or embarked on a Staff. Eligible applicants must be accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college.

All 2021 scholarships for the Tailhook Educational Foundation are currently open. To apply, please visit

Media Contact:
The Pontes Group / Lais Pontes Greene
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SOURCE TOPGUN Fighter Foundation

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