Dalton Scholarship

Learn How AFPAA Can Help You Succeed

Learn How AFPAA
Can Help You Succeed

The Dalton Scholarship Program

What It Is...

The Dalton Scholarship Program is one of the many ways AFPAA fulfills its mission to provide support to the active force. Funded in part by AFPAA members who have made a donation to AFPAA in memory of former SAF/PA Director Brigadier General Jerry Dalton, the program has two goals:

  • Provide financial support to assist members of Air Force Public Affairs who want to pursue professional educational opportunities that will enhance their ability to tell the Air Force and Space Force story.
  • Celebrate the legacy of General Dalton, whose commitment to education built the foundation that enabled Air Force Public Affairs to become the professional organization it is today.

How It Works...

Here are the main features of the Dalton Scholarship Program:

  • Each year, AFPAA makes available as many as five Dalton Scholarships of up to $1,000 each to fund courses, seminars, and workshops from colleges, universities, and professional institutes and organizations.
  • All active, Reserve, and Guard 3NXXX or 35X members and Air Force civilians in a core public affairs occupational series or assigned to a public affairs office are eligible to apply.
  • Scholarships are awarded only for course work that enhances the member’s contributions to the public affairs profession.
  • Payment is made to the Dalton Scholarship recipient after successful completion of the approved course work.

How To Apply...

PLEASE NOTE: The window for applying for a Dalton Scholarship in 2024 is now closed.

Members interested in applying for a scholarship for college course work should first maximize their use of Air Force tuition assistance. This will provide more opportunities for Dalton Scholarships to be used for professional development opportunities for which Air Force funding is not available, such as seminars, workshops, specialized lessons, and professional accreditation/certification preparation courses. Dalton Scholarships can also be used to cover remaining costs above what Air Force tuition assistance pays.

To apply for a Dalton Scholarship during the application window:

  • Download and complete the Dalton Scholarship application form, available here, and have it endorsed by your commander, supervisor, or manager.
  • Attach the completed application to an email and send it to the AFPAA Dalton Scholarship Committee at scholarship@afpaaa.org.
  • For 2025, the window for applications to be accepted will begin on March 1, 2025 and will end on May 31, 2025.

The selectees for a Dalton Scholarship in 2024 were announced on July 2, 2024. See below for the list of this year's winners.

Dalton Scholarship recipients in previous years are listed here.

Six New Dalton Scholarship Recipients Announced for 2024…

The Air Force Public Affairs Association has selected six recipients to receive scholarships in 2024 from the association’s Brigadier General H.J. Dalton Scholarship Program. While program guidelines normally provide for up to five recipients to receive Dalton Scholarships each year, AFPAA’s Board of Directors awarded six because funds not used from a previous year made an additional scholarship for 2024 possible. The recipients are:

Lt Rebecca Abordo, Public Affairs Officer, 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida.

SSgt Alexi Bosarge, Media Operations NCOIC, Public Affairs, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada.

SSgt Lauren Cobin, Command Information Section Lead, Public Affairs, 5th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida.

Capt Jose Davis, Public Affairs Officer, HQ USAFE-Africa Public Affairs, Ramstein AB, Germany.

TSgt Anthony Hyatt, Public Affairs Advisor, 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

A1C Christopher Ornelas Jr., Photojournalist, 71st Flying Training Wing, Public Affairs, Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

Chuck Merlo, chairman of AFPAA’s Dalton Scholarship Committee, said “All who applied are outstanding performers and motivated individuals. Since the number of scholarships are limited, our goal in the selection process is to select those who are undertaking the most effective courses of instruction to improve their public affairs skills with the greatest possible payback to the Air Force.”

Brigadier General Jerry Dalton

A Commitment to Education and Professional Development

The first career Public Affairs officer to make Brigadier General and head SAF/PA, Jerry Dalton worked tirelessly throughout both his military and civilian careers to promote the advancement of the Public Affairs profession.

Follow the links below to learn about the distinguished career of a true legend in the field of Public Affairs. In his Oral History, you’ll find numerous insights and sage advice on how to handle some of the many challenges PAs face.

General Dalton was well known for his commitment to mentoring and encouraging the professional development of Public Affairs personnel. He strongly promoted the value to PAs of taking advantage of the educational opportunities offered by programs like Education With Industry, the Air Force Institute of Technology, and the Air Force Short Course in Communications, and of achieving professional accreditation from organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

General Dalton was elected national president of PRSA in 1990. For years, he served as a member of The Champions for Public Relations Student Society of America, an organization of current and retired professionals seeking to provide superior public relations education and training opportunities for the career field through scholarships and awards programs. He co-chaired the national PRSA Education Affairs Committee; chaired the Technology Task Force; and served as a member of the Commission for Public Relations Education.

Gen Dalton with Two NCOs
Gen Dalton with Young People

General Dalton was the founding president of the PRSA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PRSA committed to the development of programs to advance PR research, education, and scholarships to benefit the advancement of the profession.

He was featured in the 2007 edition of "Legacies from Legends in Public Relations" published by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. His tips to new members of the public relations profession in that publication is worthwhile reading for all PAs.

In addition to earning two Distinguished Service Medals, General Dalton was named The Outstanding Public Information Officer in Government by the Aviation–Space Writers Association in 1974. Boston University honored him with its Distinguished Communicator Award in 1990, and he was inducted into the DINFOS Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 2002, he was the recipient of the AFPAA’s President Award, presented to leaders who developed pioneering programs and policies that impact Air Force Public Affairs. And in 2021, he entered the inaugural class of the Air Force Public Affairs Hall of Fame — the “Pioneer Class”.

General Dalton passed away on November 1, 2020.

AFPAA is proud to partner with General Dalton's family — his wife Carolyn, daughter Cindy, and sons Robert and Steven — as we work together to continue fostering his emphasis on education and professional development. Through the establishment of the Dalton Scholarship Program, we seek to honor General Dalton's legacy and help nurture the next generation of Public Affairs professionals, just like he did. We thank the members of AFPAA whose generous contributions in General Dalton's memory make the program possible.

Previous Dalton Scholarship Recipients…

In partnership with General Dalton's family, the Air Force Public Affairs Association began the Dalton Scholarship program in 2022. Since then, seventeen Air Force public affairs professionals have been awarded scholarships. Here are the previous year's winners of a Dalton Scholarship:

  • 2022 Recipients

    • A1C Janae Masoner
      Mass Communications Specialist, 139th Airlift Wing
      Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Missouri
    • Maj (Lt Col select) Natassia Cherne
      Deputy Commander, Air Force News Agency
      Joint Base San Antonio – Randolph, Texas
    • Capt Victoria Wright
      Public Affairs Officer, 87th Air Base Wing
      Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
    • SrA Joseph Morales
      Mass Communications Specialist, 87th Air Base Wing
      Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
    • SSgt Haley Phillips
      Public Affairs Specialist, 315th Airlift Wing
      Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina
    • CMSgt John Herrick
      Senior Enlisted Advisor, 4th Combat Camera Squadron
      Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina

  • 2023 Recipients

    • SSgt Casey Dodd
      Air Force Regional Bandsman, Band of the West
      Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
    • GG-12 Trevor Tiernan
      Chief, Public Affairs, 67th Cyberspace Wing
      Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
    • MSgt Joseph Vigil
      Public Affairs Superintendent, 87th Air Base Wing/PA
      Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
    • GS-9 Erin Wood
      Chief, Community Events, 633rd Air Base Wing/Public Affairs
      Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
    • TSgt Izabella Workman
      Public Affairs NCOIC, 352nd Special Operations Wing/Strategic Competition Cell
      RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom