Michael Martino was a beloved son, brother, uncle and Marine Corps officer. Desiring to become a pilot at an early age, he achieved his dream after graduating from the University of California, San Diego. As Marine Corps officer, Michael was a consummate professional. An accomplished Cobra pilot and Forward Air Controller (FAC), he was admired by all who served with him. On his first tour in support of Iraqi Freedom, Michael was a FAC with 2d Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, saw heavy combat in Fallujah in 2004 and gained a reputation for his courage under fire. During this period he was responsible for saving the lives of many fellow soldiers and Marines. His actions earned him the Combat Action Ribbon and Bronze Star with Valor.
In 2005, he deployed with HMLA-369, a light attack helicopter squadron to Iraq. He was known for his tactical proficiency and leadership among the Marines of the squadron. On November 2, 2005, Michael was killed when his helicopter crashed while flying in support of security operations near Ar Ramadi, Iraq. Both Michael and his fellow pilot Gerald Bloomfield were killed. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major and was awarded the Air Medal for Valor. Major Michael Martino is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
It is in this spirit of service that The Wingman Foundation has developed a partnership with Dog Tag Brewing Foundation to honor the legacy of Michael Martino. Our two organizations have partnered with Sybil and Bob Martino to honor their son's memory in the form of a scholarship to a deserving applicant. Michael's scholarship will be open to the family members of fallen Marines and Sailors.
Those who were closest to Michael remember his commitment to his family. Starting this spring, an educational grant of up to $5,000 will be awarded to the worthy applicant who can demonstrate commitment to educational excellence and service to others.
Applicants will review the following prompt and submit their essay.
MAJOR MARTINO WAS KNOWN FOR HIS QUIET AND PROFESSIONAL NATURE, ALWAYS LEARNING AND STRIVING TO BE THE BEST IN ALL THAT HE DID.
IN THE SPIRIT OF HIS LEGACY, HOW HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE?
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY:
Surviving family members of veterans who have died in the line of duty.
to include extended family members such as siblings or nieces/nephews
Navy/Marine Corps Active Duty or veterans who have served in the aviation community.
May include support MOS attached to aviation units.
ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES MUST:
Be pursuing a degree as a part-time or full-time student for the following:
Graduate or post-graduate degree
Technical degrees or training at a VA-certified institution
At a public or private, U.S.-based accredited institution
Have a desire to continue to serve others and make a positive impact on your community.
Compile a compelling, thoughtful, and genuine essay response to the prompt above.
Written essay (max 750 words) using the prompt above
Proof of military service (for self or family member)
All discharged service members will be required to provide DD-214 (SSN retracted)
Resume which includes education, work, and public service history
Character reference from that can speak to applicant's experience and future potential
Email essay and all required documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for a completed application package is May 15, 2020.