Helping Veterans get a start in aviation

Why Sponsor Aviation Training?

Together we can simultaneously increase the pilot population and help Veterans in need.


Stripes to Bars is a 501(c)(3) public charity that enables qualified veterans to earn Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates. In doing so, we assist those Veterans transition from military to civilian life, while increasing the pilot population.


Servicemembers frequently describe feeling lost during the transition from military to civilian life. Aviation can provide the necessary challenge and structure during this frequently difficult time.


Previous generations heavily relied on retired and separated Veterans to fill professional pilot positions. Stripes to Bars aims to help Veterans make this transition by providing financial scholarships and mentorship.


The media is full of stories highlighting the US and worldwide pilot shortage that is a result of increasing air travel and the retirement of large numbers of professional pilots. Stripes to Bars is committed to enabling our Veterans to fill this gap in both the private and professional pilot population.

Big News

Letter from the President

90% of donated funds directly create aviation scholarships

Thank you for supporting Stripes to Bars. We are a dedicated, diverse and all-volunteer team. We are lucky to have active duty and retired National Guard and Reserve Servicemembers in addition to aviation professionals, financial managers and devoted family members as part of our organization. We are excited to use 90% of donated funds to create aviation scholarships for eligible Veterans, in an effort to smooth their transition to civilian life while simultaneously working to increasing the civilian pilot population.
- Clayton Horney (President)

Our Team

Military experts, business leaders, and passionate people
Uploaded image

Clayton Horney

Calyton is a 5,100 hour Army Combat MEDEVAC Pilot. He is helicopter & fixed wing CFII / ATP certified and holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Boston University.
Uploaded image

Joseph McCarthy

Vice President
Chair of Finance
Joseph is an Army Combat MEDEVAC Pilot with an MBA from University of Virginia. He has previous experience at Vanguard.
Uploaded image

David Hill

David is an 8,000 hour Chief Pilot and Retired Army Veteran with over 20 years of experience flying in the Army.
Uploaded image

Carrie Horney

Carrie is a Gerontology Physician in Denver. She completed Medical School and Residency at Duke University and undergraduate at Boston University.
Uploaded image

Marc Esposito

Chair of Marketing / Fund Raising
Marc is an Army Combat MEDEVAC Pilot and holds a B.S. in Arabic from West Point. He is currently a Major and C-12 Beechcraft / UC-35 Pilot in the Army Reserve.
Uploaded image

Lance Ward

Chair of Flight Schools
Uploaded image

Ian Schuler

Legal Advisor
Ian is Trial Attorney at Bowman and Brooke LLP. He completed his J.D. at the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S. at Northeastern University.
Uploaded image

Will Pickeral

Technology Advisor
Will is a Engineer at Waymo (Google’s self-driving car project) with an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering and Theater Arts from MIT. He has previous experience at Apple and Tesla.
Uploaded image

Andrew Elmore

Fundraising Advisor
Uploaded image

Susan Walker

Advisory Board
Uploaded image

Craig Thighe

Support Staff
Craige is an International Falcon 7X Captain and Designated Pilot Examiner at Denver FSDO. He completed his MBA at Colorado State University.
Uploaded image

Jason Coley

Support Staff

Get in touch