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

A Note from Our President

99% 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

Our Team

Military experts, business leaders, and passionate people
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Clayton Horney

Clayton is an Army combat MEDEVAC pilot with international corporate experience. He is helicopter and airplane CFI / CFII / MEI / ATP certified and holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University.
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Joseph McCarthy

Joseph is an Army Combat MEDEVAC Pilot with an MBA from University of Virginia. He has previous experience at Vanguard.
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James Sorbet

James is a Gulfstream Captain, Assistant Chief Pilot at Aspen Flying Club, Chief Pilot at Become a Pilot 101, Denver Chief of Ops for an aerial survey company. In previous roles has flown FAR Part 91, 121 and 135. James is a former F/A-18C Naval Aviator and Signals Intelligence Officer.
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Andrew Elmore

Chair of Fundraising
Drew is a Fundraising professional for non-profit and higher education. He earned his Master of Science in Management at Baker University and his B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Missouri.
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Joshua Kupietzky

Joshua is the founder of Frequent Flyers News and @JBKAVIATION, where he regularly discusses the latest developments in the world of aviation.
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Lance Ward

Chair of Flight Schools
Lance is a PC-12NG Captain and previous Northrop Grumman MQ-5B Air Vehicle Operator. He is airplane CFI / CFII / MEI certified and holds a B.S. in Aeronautics from the University of North Dakota.
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Jason Coley

Chair of Scholarships
Jason is a Regional Airline Captain and a former USAF intelligence Officer. He earned his B.A from University of Colorado in Spanish and French.
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Will Pickeral

Technology Advisor
Will is an 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.
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Thano Genos

Advisory Board
Thano is a director of public relations for a marketing agency in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom having served as a combat journalist and currently holds an MBA in marketing.
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Carrie Horney

Advisory Board
Carrie is a Geriatric Physician in Denver. She completed medical school and residency at Duke University and undergraduate at Boston University.
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Ian Schuler

Support Staff
Ian is Trial Attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. He completed his J.D. at the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S. at Northeastern University.


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