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MHS JROTC Cadet John Corcoran Earns National Army ROTC Scholarship Worth More Than $129,000 in Addition to Scholarship from The Citadel

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Friday, May 20, 2022
(Left - right) McKinney High School senior John Corcoran (second from right) stands onstage at the McKinney High School Performing Arts Center with Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Gary Porter, Jr. (Ret.), McKinney High School Asst. Principal Tom Wales and Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ron McPhatter (Ret.) as he receives a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship worth more than $129,000.

(Left - right) McKinney High School senior John Corcoran (second from right) stands onstage at the McKinney High School Performing Arts Center with Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Gary Porter, Jr. (Ret.), McKinney High School Asst. Principal Tom Wales and Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ron McPhatter (Ret.) as he receives a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship worth more than $129,000.

McKinney, Texas – This spring, McKinney High School senior John Corcoran joined the ranks of a growing tradition among MHS’s Marine Corps JROTC cadets by earning a National ROTC Scholarship.

Led by a duo of retired U.S. Marines—Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ron McPhatter and Gunnery Sgt. Gary Porter, Jr.—the cadets of the MCJROTC program have consistently proven themselves to be high achievers since the program’s inception in 2014.

But Corcoran has gone beyond the accomplishments of most cadets. On Monday, May 16, he became the recipient of a National ROTC Scholarship and joined a steadily-growing contingent of MHS students to do so.

Valued at more than $129,000, the scholarship will cover the cost of Corcoran’s first three years at The Citadel, also known as the Military College of South Carolina, and his fourth year will be provided for through the Citadel Service to Country 2026 Scholarship. Upon graduation, Corcoran will enter full time service as an officer in the U.S. Army.

McPhatter onstage with microphone

McKinney High School Marine Corps JROTC Instructor and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ron McPhatter (Ret.) addresses the cadets of the McKinney High School Marine Corps JROTC program.



MHS Marine Corps JROTC Recipients of National ROTC Scholarships

2015:  Brigham Young Wilson—U.S. Army ROTC, Arkansas State University
2016:  Conley Walters—U.S. Air Force Academy
2016: Collin Hammack—U.S. Army ROTC, Baylor University
2016: Aidan Mulligan—U.S. Army Military Academy (West Point)
2017:  Thomas McGowan—U.S. Navy ROTC, University of Michigan
2018:  Ian Gillett—U.S. Army ROTC, Southern Methodist University
2019:  Avery Smith—U.S. Army ROTC, University of Oklahoma
2019: Jacob Millis—U.S. Army ROTC, University of Oklahoma
2019: Gian Grant—U.S. Army ROTC, University of North Texas
2020:  Jakob Shackleton—U.S. Naval Academy, USN ROTC (Marine Option), Stanford University
2021:  Kylie White—USN ROTC (Marine Option)
2022: John Corcoran—U.S. Army ROTC, The Citadel

Corcoran said that he was grateful for the opportunity to attend The Citadel and serve his country. “The scholarship re-opened an option that I didn’t think I would get—being able to go to The Citadel,” he said. “I originally was kind of thinking that I wouldn’t be able to go because of cost, but now I’m able to go and join ‘The Long Gray Line.’”

Vasquez at podium speaking

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Vasquez announces that John Corcoran is the recipient of a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Vasquez presented a check to Corcoran on the stage of the MHS Performing Arts Center as Corcoran’s fellow cadets, instructors, family members and staff looked on.

“On behalf of the United States Army,” Vasquez said, “it is my distinct pleasure to be here today to present this scholarship, this certificate to Mr. John Corcoran … Receiving this certificate is the culmination of work that was begun several years ago. John should be extremely proud of all the achievements that he has accomplished thus far in life … We as the United States Army and the United States Army Cadet Command are proud to present John with this check for $129,222 dollars—not to just any college or university, but to the prestigious Citadel. Congratulations, John.”

group standing onstage with large check

McKinney High School senior John Corcoran (second from right) stands onstage at the McKinney High School Performing Arts Center with family members, MCJROTC Instructors Ron McPhatter and Gary Porter, Jr. (center) and U.S. Army representative Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Vasquez (far left) as he receives a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship check valued at $129,222 that will cover the cost of his education at The Citadel.

For Corcoran, the desire to serve his country in the military sprang from the influence of family and a heart to help people. “A lot of it was I wanted to go and help people. I wanted to go and ensure the safety of my country, but also my step-dad is a senior master sergeant in the Air Force, my brother’s about to be [in] Marine aviation, my grandfather was Army Air Corps. So, there’s kind of that family connection to it as well.”

For McPhatter, the MCJROTC cadets are like family, and he beams with pride when he sees them pursue and achieve their goals. “It’s the ultimate pride and joy,” he said. “Four years…the kids feel like they’re my kids because I’ve had them for four years. I see them every day. So, to see John get recognized for his efforts and be able to achieve his dream, that’s the ultimate accomplishment and—ultimately—pride for me.”

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