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Admiral Ronald J. Hays Scholarship


Admiral Ronald J. Hays’ life and career is a testament to how one can rise from a modest beginning and through hard work and dedication achieve great success while serving one’s nation. Ron was born into a working-class family in a small sawmill town in central Louisiana. He distinguished himself early as valedictorian of his high school class and as an Eagle Scout. With the support of the town’s founder, who recognized Ron’s potential, he received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1950. His military career included service as a test pilot and he flew over 160 combat missions over North Vietnam. His night time/one plane raid that destroyed the Haiphong power plant made national news. Admiral Hays was promoted to increasing senior assignments including Carrier Group Commander, Commander in Chief of US Naval Forces Europe, Vice Chief of Naval Operations and in 1985, appointment as Commander in Chief Pacific Forces (CINCPAC) known today as U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Admiral Hays received many awards and honors throughout his military career. He was one of the most highly decorated pilots in the Navy and was the “Grey Eagle”, the most senior active naval aviator for several years. In addition to being a warrior and commander, he was a skilled diplomat who strengthened our alliances in each region where he served. Through his significant contributions to aviation, he was invited into the exclusive Golden Eagles Association.

Admiral Hays retired from the Navy in 1988 and began a long-standing involvement in community service. As a volunteer leader in our community, Admiral Hays was instrumental in securing the Battleship Missouri to become part of Pearl Harbor’s tribute to history and the sacrifice of those who came before us. He was particularly proud of serving as the Chairman of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum for many years and he was instrumental in the Museum’s growth.


Established within the endowment of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, the Admiral Ronald J. Hays Scholarship will be distributed to those who demonstrate the qualities of leadership, patriotism and service to their community. Scholarship awards may be applied to support academic and/or skills development, with flight training a primary focus.

The Admiral Ronald J. Hays Scholarship is managed and awarded without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. Scholarships are non-transferable; however, recipients may apply for one subsequent scholarship after successful completion of the course of study funded by the initial scholarship. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

ADM Hays was proud of his upbringing in Louisiana and he grew to love his adopted state of Hawaii. As such, preference will be given to applicants from these states.

Prior to awarding the scholarship, the applicant must provide an acceptance letter and course content from the selected vocational school, college, or university. Funds will be mailed/wired directly to the institution.

Other Scholarship Requirements:
  1. Complete required application.
  2. Three letters of recommendations submitted directly to the PHAM Scholarship Committee by the recommender via email to [email protected]. Ideally, recommendations will be from one personal, one professional, and one educational reference as applicable. Carefully read the instructions on Appendix B.
  3. Provide personal statement of 750 words or less to include:
    a. Defining the desired aviation career field.
    b. Statement of previous work experience or education showing commitment to the pursuit of an aviation career.
    c. Summary of achievements in the desired field of aviation.
  4. Be available for in-person or video conference interview.
  5. Admiral Hays was proud of his upbringing in Louisiana and he grew to love his adopted state of Hawaii. Preference will be given to applicants from these states.
Interview and Notification:
  1. Applicants will be notified via email of the date, time, and method of the interview with the selection committee.
  2. Recipients of the Admiral Hays Scholarship will be notified by PHAM Executive Director no later than 24 hours after selections are made.
  3. Awardee will have up to 60 days to accept the scholarship terms and conditions as specified in the award notification.


All scholarships must be submitted by close of business (17:00 HST) on January 15.
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