Former Lincoln County High School Falcon Holden-Reagan Cooper Shelton received the silver wings of a United States Army Aviator at Fort Rucker, Alabama May 19th.
Cooper, as he is known to family and friends, commissioned and graduated Carson Newman University with dual Bachelors degrees in 2019.
Reporting to Fort Rucker, completing the Basic officers leadership course and SERE training (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape), Cooper entered Primary Flight School flying the Lakota helicopter. After successful completion of Primary, Shelton was selected to fly the U60 Blackhawk helicopter for his Advanced Warfighter training.
“I was very excited to receive my first choice to fly the Blackhawk. I’ve wanted to fly it ever since my brother began flying her in 2014”. Shelton added, “We had multiple breaks in our training due to the pandemic. Our class should have graduated last year. However, it’s been very rewarding and everyone is anxious to get to their duty stations and get to work”.
After a few weeks leave, Cooper reports to Joint Base Soto Cano near Tegucigalpa, Honduras for 12 months, extendable to 18, where he will fly missions with the DEA, Special Ops and emergency humanitarian
“Again, I’m really excited, Honduras was my first choice. Most aviators have said, it’s the best flying we have.”
“Thanks to my family, friends and former teachers who have sent me messages since leaving for training. I encourage all students thinking about careers to consider our military. You can graduate college debt free and have a multitude of challenging and rewarding careers to choose from, said Shelton.”
Cooper, is the son of former Mayor Gwen and Captain Scott Shelton. His brother, Captain Nevada Shelton, a West Point 2013 graduate recently completed the Green to Blue program where he qualified to transfer from the Army to the Air Force where he will fly the C17 4 engine heavy jet transport.