HomeNewsArticle Display

Through Airmen's Eyes: Lieutenant follows father's path to silver wings

Col. Billye Hutchison (left) poses for a photo with 2nd Lt. Jon Koritz, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 13-13 graduate, and his mother Julianne Koritz Aug. 3, 2013, outside of the Koritz Clinic at Seymore Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The Koritz Clinic was renamed in 2008 in honor of Maj. Thomas Koritz after he was killed in action during the second night of combat in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Hutchinson is the 14th Medical Group commander.

Col. Billye Hutchison (left) poses for a photo with 2nd Lt. Jon Koritz, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 13-13 graduate, and his mother Julianne Koritz Aug. 3, 2013, outside of the Koritz Clinic at Seymore Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The Koritz Clinic was renamed in 2008 in honor of Maj. Thomas Koritz after he was killed in action during the second night of combat in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Hutchinson is the 14th Medical Group commander.

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) --

(This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.) 

Second Lt. Jon Koritz graduated from undergraduate pilot training Aug. 16, joining a long list of military aviators, including his late father, Maj. Tom Koritz.

Koritz' father was killed in action on the second night of combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 flying an F-15E Strike Eagle. At the time, his father was one of six pilot-physicians flying in the Air Force. He was survived by his wife, Julianne and three sons Tim, Jon and Scott.

"To walk across this stage, the same stage my father walked across with class 82-01 to receive his wings, is a very special moment for me and my family," Koritz said.

Koritz graduated in 2008 from East Carolina University and first entered the business world in North Carolina. Still harboring a passion for aviation, his girlfriend, and soon to be father-in-law retired Lt. Col. Steve Lofgren, encouraged his pursuit and eventual acceptance to Officer Training School in 2011.

Koritz rapidly learned how small the Air Force was when reporting to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, right after OTS for pre-flight medical screening. During his physical, the attending physician was a flight surgeon in the 4th Medical Group at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., with Kotiz's father.

Koritz was joined by his wife, mother, two brothers and other family members and friends Aug. 2 when class 13-13 received their assignments. Sixteen friends and family members traveled to Columbus and witnessed firsthand Koritz' excitement when he received his assignment to the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Class 13-13 also had a distinguished keynote speaker for their graduation address. Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Tom Travis, the Air Force Surgeon General, who spoke to the newly minted aviators, during the ceremony. Like Koritz' father, Travis is one of 11 pilot-physicians in the Air Force.

His mother, Julianne Koritz, said she was proud of his accomplishment and predicts his passion for aviation will take him far.

"This is both bittersweet and difficult," she said. "The solace of this moment is that I have never seen Jon happier ... he was meant to be an Air Force aviator." 

This support from his loved ones was especially important, Koritz said.

"I am just fortunate to have this opportunity," he said. "It would have never happened without the love and support of my family and friends."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Every #Airman has a story and their unique, diverse backgrounds only make our fighting force stronger. Read how thi… https://t.co/yy8SQcJkNo
.@USAFCENT #Airmen keep an eye in the sky, provide long-range radar surveillance at #AlUdeidAirBase.… https://t.co/EJXwQfc9Wl
#Airmen @28thBombWing are replacing outdated multi-purpose vehicles - nicknamed bread trucks - w/ five new transit… https://t.co/zx6Kd979jm
Any time, any place! An independent duty medical technician #Airman @Hurlburt_Field performs life-saving procedures… https://t.co/0a36WYRHux
The 455th Expeditionary Communications Squadron @BagramAirfield keeps #Airmen connected downrange. https://t.co/5RBafip23c
RT @DeptofDefense: Training to be the best! A @USAirForce pilot trains in the 360-degree Operational Flight Training Simulator at @Sheppar
An #Airman assigned @TeamMinot crouches in rotor wash in the Turtle Mountain State Forest, during a field training… https://t.co/ERqU5OnEJ0
Threatening weather does not stop once hurricane season ends, and it becomes the mission of the #HurricaneHunters t… https://t.co/ad5VuNO6mP
Virtual, augmented reality may hold key to future #AirForce training. Find out how: https://t.co/FAcEaj4w6f https://t.co/7tdpioVtu9
#MentorMonday: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mu… https://t.co/PjGcBMVliB
Our partnerships and @NATO allies help keep our mission moving forward. https://t.co/5R4ZB7XqXs
$40M up for grabs! Find out how your small business can make some cash while helping solve some of the #USAF's toug… https://t.co/0AEmZhZGdI
RT @SecAFOfficial: Happy birthday 🎉 to #USAF Col & #space pioneer Buzz Aldrin @TheRealBuzz ✈️🚀 https://t.co/gIsicyA1uk
#Innovation! First metallic #3Dprinted part installed on an operational #F22 Raptor @HAFB. The new part will not co… https://t.co/rkKr1jtThg
Practice makes perfect! These #SpecOps medical experts maintain readiness & relevance for all operations, today and… https://t.co/WMpdt9LTGe
Remembering a woman who changed the world: Millicent Young, Women #AirForce Service Pilot in World War II, dies at… https://t.co/mri1QRXOC8
From fast food to future technology, one #Airman found a new calling @AirNatlGuard and decided to ditch the fryer f… https://t.co/I8qX7GpH4n
An #F35 sits on the flightline @LukeAFB, Jan. 10. Six different aircraft maintenance units from #TeamLuke competed… https://t.co/OxVMxf7Ayw
It takes a lot of coordination to clear a flightline of snow, but @TeamMisawa--a place that averaged more than 147… https://t.co/VQ4qjdsxFz
RT @SecAFOfficial: It is our responsibility to maintain a strong national defense @usairforce https://t.co/JXzhtqdMrg