Maureen Hartney

Above: Maureen Hartney.

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Maureen Hartney

Head of the CLAS

By the time she graduated from high school, Maureen Hartney had already lived in four states and three foreign countries. When she graduates from the University of Florida on May 3, she will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, the same military branch that opened up the world to her as a child.

Hartney, 21, will follow in the footsteps of her father, a retired Air Force colonel. Living in so many different places growing up taught her how to succeed in any location. “Moving around when I was younger and learning to adjust in different places was an invaluable experience for me,” Hartney said.

Hartney was honored as the Air Force Association Cadet of the Year in September, an award honoring the top college Air Force ROTC cadet in the country. The political science and history major joined UF’s Air Force ROTC her freshman year. Growing up in the Air Force atmosphere, Hartney said it was “meant to be” when she began excelling in the program.

“Joining ROTC really broke UF down into a little niche for me,” she said. “Now my life is ROTC, and all my friends are in it.”

Hartney began working on her private pilot’s license in preparation for training, and has logged more than 10 of the approximately 50 hours needed to complete it. She hopes to fly F-16s in Italy someday, but said she won’t know what she’ll end up piloting until she sees her body’s reaction in flight training. She has been stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where she will begin her Undergraduate Pilot Training.

Credits

Writer

Colleen Bennett

Photo

Kristen Bartlett Grace

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