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Col. Eric Stroberg, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Aviation, is the recipient of the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. This is the highest honor a civil aviator can receive. Col. Stroberg is a 1974 graduate of Auburn University, where he was a member of the War Eagle Flying Team, or WEFT, and president of Alpha Eta Rho aviation fraternity.

According to the FAA website, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or 14 CFR, part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first U.S. pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as "Master Pilots."

"I'm honored to have had a career worthy of the recognition bestowed by the Wright Brothers Award and grateful to be able to receive it now as an instructor at Auburn," Stroberg said. "The knowledge and experience I gained here as an aviation management student quite some time ago gave me the foundation needed to meet the demands of nearly five decades in an intensely challenging profession. There's no doubt that it's that Auburn foundation–and the many people who helped build it–that allowed me to receive this award!"

Stroberg began his aviation career with his commissioning in the United States Air Force through ROTC Detachment 005. For the next 27 years, he served flying T-38 - Talon, T-1 Jayhawk, F-4 Phantom II D, E, F and G, BAe Hawk and U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft. His assignments included instructor/flight examiner roles in training, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft; command/leadership positions at the Flight, Squadron, Wing, Command and Numbered Air Force levels; a joint tour with the United States Navy; and a three-year exchange tour with the Royal Air Force. Following his retirement from the USAF, he joined Southwest Airlines and flew LUV 737s for 16 years before retiring again in 2017. He returned to Auburn in 2018 becoming an instructor in the professional flight program in 2019 and an adjunct instructor in aviation management in 2020. In addition to his aviation management degree from Auburn, Eric holds a MBA in aviation from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate of both the Royal Air Force Staff College and the United States Army War College.

Pilot awards, such as the Golden Eagle Award, have been presented by various FAA Flight Standards District Offices, or FSDO. The Wright Brothers MPA consolidates these local awards into one national award program. Once the award has been issued, Stroberg’s name, city and state will be added to a published "Roll of Honor" located by clicking here.

Col. Eric Stroberg