Elisha Scott Phillips, of Drexel, has been awarded an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Class of 2018. Phillips is the son of Scott and Dawnita Phillips and grandson of Lois Phillips and the late Jim Phillips, of Drexel, and G.L. and Lonita Bruce, of Harrisonville. A formal certificate of his appointment was made by Gen. Sam Mitchell, USAFR at a gathering of family and friends to honor him May 24.
Earlier in the month, Rep. Vicki Hartzler had a reception in Columbia to introduce all appointees to military schools from her district.
Phillips was the primary nominee of Rep. Vicki Hartzler and also was a nominee of Sen. Claire McCaskill. Mitchell explained that appointment follows a dual path. First, a nominee must meet the initial criteria of scholastic achievement, demonstrated leadership skills and references of character. After nomination by his legislator, the nominee must pass rigid Air Force physical tests, background clearances and military evaluation. Each legislator may have only five appointees in any academy at any one time. One thousand applicants are selected for the Air Force Academy from the initial 30,000 who applied nationwide.
Phillips will represent the fourth generation of the Phillips family to serve military duty for his country. Great-grandfather Herbert M. Phillips, Cpl. U. S. Army, served in France during WWI. Grandfather James H. Phillips, Lt. Col. USAF, completed 28 years of combined active and reserve duty as a multi-engine transport pilot. Father Scott Phillips, Capt. USAFR, served as an A-10 pilot 1987-1997. His maternal grandfather. G.L. Bruce, Sgt. U.S. Army, served in the era of the Cuban missile crisis.
Phillips was home schooled and completed one year at Longview Community College with honors. He is an Eagle Scout, a licensed pilot and has earned a black belt in Shotokan Karate.
He will report to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on Thursday, June 26.