Jay LEQUAR Award
An Award for Outstanding Service to the French Exchange


Since the inception of the Exchange in 1969, the Air Force Academy had been interested in recognizing the Exchange Cadet who exemplified the spirit of the program during his stay at the École de l'Air,  as well as during the preparation phase for participation in the Exchange.

During the late 1980s, the Academy was contacted by the family of one of the former USAFA Exchangers to explore the possibility of creating an annual award to recognize the cadet who distinguished himself during his entire participation in the Exchange Program. With the  support of the USAF Academy Association of Graduates and the direct involvement of the Department of Foreign Languages at the Academy, such an award program was created.

The award is endowed by the family and friends of John "Jay" Lequar and is sponsored by the Association of Graduates.

Selection of the award recipient is made by an ad hoc committee that evaluates various inputs –including those of fellow cadets in the same Exchange group– before making the selection.

A plaque is presented to that selectee during the Language Award Ceremony held in connection with Graduation Week activities.

A permanent plaque is displayed at the Academy honoring all past recipients.


John Jay Lequar, born in 1959, was a member of the USAFA Class of 1981 and participated in the Exchange in 1980. He became interested in the Exchange Program in his first year at the Academy, inspired by a former Exchanger, Philip McBride [EX'77].

His primary goal became to compete and qualify for the Exchange.

He conducted himself in an outstanding manner during his stay in Salon, embodying the spirit and purpose of the Exchange.

Following graduation from the Academy, Lieutenant Lequar underwent pilot training in Arizona. A few months later, on 20 November 1981, he was killed during a training mission while performing authorized acrobatics in a T-37 aircraft over the desert.

He was buried at the Academy the day after Thanksgiving 1981 with full military honors.

Both of Lieutenant Lequar's parents are now deceased. His father had served in the United States Army, both as a military man and as a civil servant.

His only sibling, a brother, resides in the Midwest.

Past Recipients of the Jay LEQUAR Award
1991 Heather PRINGLE
1993 Robert DAM
1994 Audrey WILLIAMS
1995 Christopher KEAN
1996 Richard DODGE
1997 Eric WARME
1998 Max PEARSON
1999 Wesley HALES
2000 Joseph "Jay" GEANY
2002 Caroline WELLMAN
2003 Antonia GIRAUD
2004 Sarah THILO
2005 Melissa BLAND
2006 Michael PHELAN
2007 Lucas BROMMER
2008 James BRESNAHAN
2009 Brian DUNN
2010 Thomas BOWEN
2011 Margarita ZHUKOV
2012 Saskia HICKS

GERHART Scholars


The General John K. Gerhart Fellowship is a two-year study program funded by the US Air Force Academy Association of Graduates for the benefit of  one or two USAF Academy graduates every year.

All educational costs are paid from a trust fund established in the name of General Gerhart with the Air Force paying for the high cost of living in Paris for the two years of study.

Gerhart scholars study at two different schools and earn a French degree entitled "Certificat d'Études Politiques" from one of the very prestigious "Grandes Écoles" in France.

The American degree is awarded by Middlebury College, VT.

During their stay in Paris, Gerhart scholars assist the U. S. Defense Attaché Officeat the American Embassy in Paris. They have also organized informal reunions of former Exchangers during Paris Air Shows.

Gerhart Award Recipients
1985 George POPE 
1986 Evan VINTON 

1988 Roy SANTOS

Richard TATEM
1989 Mary O'CONNOR

1990 Richard KEMP 
1992 Rex MILLER

1993 Susan HEALY
1994 John AALBORG

Raymond TRUONG
1995 Christopher KEAN
1996 Eve DOUGLAS
1997 Patrick WARD
1998 Max PEARSON
1999 Wesley HALES
2000 Aaron FRANKLIN
2001 Chris CARDEN
2002 Michael CULHANE
2003 Antonia GIRAUD 
2004 Nolan PETERSON
2005 Andrew HOSKINSON
2006 Nate CARDEN
2007 Christopher GAMBLE
2008 Heather CLEMENS
2011 Madeline GOFF
2013 Cody ANDERSON

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