Jayson Eurick

Jayson  Eurick
  • BS Mechanical Engineering 1999
The year was 1986 and Jayson Eurick, a junior-high student from Saginaw, Mich. was watching the movie Top Gun, featuring Tom Cruise as "Maverick," a young naval aviator aspiring to be a top Navy pilot. Little did Eurick know that he would eventually follow Maverick's footsteps and his own childhood dreams, earning his own way to top gun instructor in the Navy.

Having never flown before, Eurick did not seriously consider such a pursuit at the time. He ended up coming to Michigan Tech after his graduation from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw in 1995. "I came to Michigan Tech for two reasons: They had an ROTC program and it was a well-respected engineering school," said Eurick. "During a visit to Tech during my senior year of high school, I also fell in love with the area."

While earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, he was also involved with the Air Force ROTC program. After spending four years at Tech, Eurick graduated in the spring of 1999.

Though many complain about the winter weather, he loved the weather and the campus community. "My only regret about Michigan Tech is that I didn't stay longer," said Eurick. "Tech demands so much academically, but I encourage students to enjoy their time at Tech and look into the many opportunities the community offers." Eurick made sure to note that academics is important, but that many students get too caught up in them to enjoy their short time in college.

Following his time at Michigan Tech, Eurick married Amanda, a civil engineer who graduated from MTU in the fall of 1999. They moved to Pensacola, Fla. where he trained to become a navy officer. He received specialized pilot training for two years, and over the past eight years he has flown all over the world, including missions in South Korea, Italy, Germany and Australia.

"I was fortunate to reach the position of top gun instructor. I got to teach all pilots in my fleet about strategies and mission specifics," said Eurick. "I absolutely love flying military jets and teaching others about it. Reaching speeds faster than the speed of sound while serving my country is a great feeling to have."

Eurick is currently stationed in California, preparing to head out for a 10-day recertification course on landing jets on an aircraft carrier at night. He will return home for three weeks before being deployed to the Middle East for eight to nine months.

His upcoming deployment will be his second time stationed in the Middle East. Eurick was involved in some of the first air strikes on Iraq between January and April of 2003. "They were some of the first strikes of the war, so there were a lot of uncertainties, but it was certainly a rewarding experience too," he said.

Eurick plans to fly as long as the Navy lets him, but he is keeping his career options open. While he has not actually used his degree in the mechanical engineering field, his time at Tech was well worth it. "Michigan Tech does a good job of teaching students how to solve problems. I use the skills they taught me every day," said Eurick.

If Eurick flies in the Navy for 20 years, he will be able to retire. While his future is wide open, Eurick admits that he would like to possibly retire in the UP area with his wife and two children, Kendall, now three years old, and Tyler, now five months old.

Eurick's outstanding career accomplishments earned him the Michigan Tech Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2005. "Receiving the award was a total surprise. Prior recipients were older and more academically qualified than me. I was very honored." According to Eurick, very few people are selected for the award for accomplishments outside of their chosen degree.

"There are obviously many careers outside your chosen profession, but Michigan Tech does a good job of training you to come up with solutions to problems, regardless of the field you're in," said Eurick.

by Stephen Anderson, reprinted from the Michigan Tech Lode (1-23-08)