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Meet Sergeant William Joseph Luce, Jr.

Sergeant William Joseph Luce Jr. grew up in Riverside California where he went on to graduate high school with honors at the age of 17. Two weeks after his graduation Sergeant Luce answered the call to serve in the United States Army during a period of conflict and the war in Iraq.

Sergeant t Luce took on leadership roles throughout basic training and graduated with excellence, earning a coveted role in the ranks 82nd Airborne Division, an elite airborne unit known for their audacity in combat and rich tradition. As a proud new member of the Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Squadron, Sergeant Luce quickly rose through the ranks. His successful completion of Ranger school, Recon and Surveillance Leader’s Course, Warrior’s Leaders Course, Basic Non Commissioned Officer’s Course, and Advanced Rifle Marksmanship Course prepared him for a 15 month long deployment to Sadr City Baghdad, where he earned various medals for valorous acts in combat.

After this distinguished service, Sergeant Luce chose to further his education and enrolled in Jacksonville University’s Aviation Management and Flight Operations Bachelor’s Degree program. He quickly immersed himself into the JU culture and began competing with the Flight Team on the regional and national level, earning recognition for the school by being the first person in JU’s history to win the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Men’s Achievement Award. William successfully completed two internships during the summer semesters; one with the Northeast Florida Regional Airport and another with Delta Airlines Flight Operations. He was also involved in numerous other extracurricular activities, which included Alpha Eta Rho – a professional aviation fraternity, Alpha Omicron Alpha – an aviation honor society, the Brumos Circle of Excellence, service as an aviation teaching assistant, all while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. William graduated at the top of his class, earning the distinction of being the Davis College of Business Student of the Year, Davis Aviation “top Pilot” award, Captain Harrison “Sundance” Leadership award, and Fred B Noble Gold Medal for Scholarship. After graduation, he stayed with JU as a flight instructor where he would pass on the joy of flying airplanes to the next generation of collegiate aviators. William truly exemplifies the core values of our program and he continues to make us proud working as a First Officer for Compass Airlines flying the Embrear 170 / 175 as a Delta Air Lines connection carrier.

Learn more about our military students and alumni here on Wave Magazine, or visit the Veterans and Military Resource Center online to learn how JU serves those who’ve served.