Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Announces Two New Key Hires

by Katie King |


Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Announces Two New Key Hires


Pensacola, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2021) – Two new staff members have joined the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation – retired Navy Capt. Pat Everly and retired Air Force Col. Rita Miller.

“With the addition of two, new key staff positions, we look forward to expanding the reach of the National Flight Academy into the Northwest Florida STEM Center of Excellence, with a much greater local impact to students and families within Escambia and Santa Rosa counties,” said retired Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, president and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. “Pat and Rita will help break down existing barriers and create more educational outreach experiences for children in our community who might not otherwise have those opportunities.”

Capt. Pat Everly has been named Executive Director of the National Flight Academy. Everly, a native of Vienna Va., graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics. He earned a Master of Science Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 2012. His last active-duty tour was as the Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science for the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL.

He has flown more than 4100 hours on active duty in the T-34C, TH-57B/C, H-46D, MH-53E and MH-60S. He holds a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating for both single engine fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters.

The National Flight Academy serves middle and high school students through a series of immersive technical and aviation-inspired learning experiences. The NFA leverages state-of-the-art classrooms and 42 experimental aircraft flight simulators, which reinforce STEM learning objectives, in an immersive, scenario-based environment.


Col. Rita Miller, who previously served as the Director at Department of Defense (DoD) STARBASE Oklahoma, has been named Director of DoD STARBASE Pensacola. Miller served 31 years in the Air National Guard, a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force. With a master’s degree in education, Miller taught elementary and middle school students for 14 years.

While at DoD STARBASE Oklahoma, Miller managed the program in accordance with Department of Defense regulations to nearly 4500 students from 70 area school districts.

The Department of Defense STARBASE program is returning to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola after an 8-year absence. STARBASE Pensacola will be located at the National Flight Academy onboard the installation.

Currently, there are approximately 70 STARBASE programs nationally and Pensacola will be the third program in Florida. The launch of the program at “The Cradle of Naval Aviation” will allow 5th grade students from Title 1 schools in the local communities to have a place to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related topics starting in January 2022.


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