Jacob Huck, a 10th grade student at Desert Junior Senior High School, is a Life Scout working his way towards Eagle Scout. To reach his goal, Huck is required to achieve a series of merit badges and complete an Eagle Scout project that demonstrates leadership. He chose to lead a group of volunteers in cleaning the T-38 on display outside of the Air Force Flight Test Museum.
The work started Sept. 21, when a handful of volunteers joined him in touching up the paint, removing the oxidation on the airplane and applying a coat of floor polish to make it shine. The project continued Oct. 5, when a new group of volunteers were tasked with creating a permanent display to support the landing gear. They dug three holes and filled them with hand-mixed cement slabs. The slabs housed a mesh material to prevent potential cracking under the aircraft’s weight and rebar tie downs to hold it in place.
“The T-38 is part of Air Force history,” said Huck. “[The display] shows people who don’t know about the T-38, it’s an amazing aircraft. We use them for training fighter pilots in the [U.S. Air Force] Test Pilot School here on base.”
Prior to starting his project, Huck had to present his idea before the Eagle Scout chairmen and the Flight Test Historical Foundation board for approval. The Flight Test Historical Foundation voted to reimburse him for the supplies used in his volunteer work.
According to Huck, his fellow scouts that aided him with the project may also benefit by earning service hours than can be credited towards certain merit badges or rank advancement. The project gives Huck the opportunity to exercise leadership over a team of volunteers under the guidance of his mentor. His goal is to reach Eagle Scout before the end of the year, making him the last of three brothers to bear that title. His older brothers Jerremy and Josh reached Eagle Scout in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Huck’s mother, Michelle Perry, is the Base Community Planner at Edwards. She stated that because of the Boy Scouts, any of her boys could be left in the woods with only a compass and they would find their way back. She added that the Boy Scouts have taught them to be trustworthy, loyal and courteous.
“As a parent, you want your children to develop all of those skills. Now they’ve got those skills and I don’t have to worry because they are set with the skills needed to succeed in life” said Perry.
“The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank of scouting and once a young man has earned that award, it’s his forever. He can put it on a college or military application,” said Perry. “There aren’t many things that we do as kids that we can take with us, but this is something that he can use in his college application or for work. It is showing that this young man has had commitment and shown leadership.”
Huck belongs to Troop 247 in Rosamond, Calif., and has been in the Boy Scouts program since he was in first grade. When he reaches Eagle Scout he will be recognized during a Court of Honor which shows highlights the journey of his Boy Scout career.
“We go to amazing campouts and it teaches us a lot of respect and to be helpful to people and trustworthy,” said Huck. “It has taught me many hobbies like fishing, camping, snowboarding, shooting and survival skills. My favorite scouting memories are learning to snowboard and going to the Klondike campout where we did many events like making snowballs that we put in plastic bags to shoot out of a cannon.”