Fort Walton Beach ROTC Cadet Major Jack Fite Named Winner of 2nd Annual Marcus R. Michles Scholarship

Michles & Booth attorneys Marcus Michles (center) and Chris Janes (left) present the 2nd Annual Marcus R. Michles ROTC Scholarship to Cadet Major Jack Fite in front of the Purple Heart Memorial in Pensacola, which – like the scholarship – also honors Michles’ father.

The Michles Family Freedom Foundation congratulates Fort Walton Beach High School senior Jack Fite, winner of the 2nd Annual Marcus R. Michles ROTC Scholarship. Cadet Major Fite was nominated by his high school ROTC leadership and competed in an essay and interview competition joined by nominees from each Okaloosa County high school ROTC program.  His essay and interview were judged by a panel of local business members to best represent the qualities the Michles scholarship was created to recognize.

“It was a pleasant honor to not only be included in the scholarship competition but also to be chosen to receive it,” said Fite. “The competition challenged me but actually proved to be quite fun. With this scholarship, I am one step closer to my dream.”

Cadet Major Fite intends to use the $5,000 starting this fall toward a degree in Russian at the University of South Florida. He also plans to join the Air Force ROTC program to pursue a commission and career in the Air Force.

Fort Walton Beach attorney Chris Janes of Michles & Booth law firm worked with Marcus J. Michles II to establish the scholarship named after the younger Michles’ father, a retired, disabled Army major who did three tours in Vietnam. The younger Michles, a founding partner and principal attorney at Michles & Booth, also served in the Army Special Forces Command in the 3rd Special Forces Group.

“I felt we needed to honor the military service in our area for everything they’re putting on the line to protect our freedoms,” Janes said. “You see athletes getting honored, so I thought why not do something for our high school ROTC members. These young men and women don’t get as much recognition as they should. It was just a natural for us to offer the scholarship and begin participating more with the groups throughout the year.”

Michles, who earned an ROTC scholarship to Furman University and ultimately graduated as the Distinguished Military Graduate, said he admires the ROTC for its commitment to shaping young adults into productive citizens who value service, integrity and excellence and to preparing them to be leaders in their future careers in military or business.

“My father was an inspiration to me without knowing it and really instilled my value system,” Michles said.  “Creating this scholarship was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made. I am amazed at how selfless these kids are and how they never lose sight of their goals.”

The primary mission of the Family Freedom Foundation is to provide assistance in the form of money and professional services (legal, accounting, and financial advice) to the families of military, law enforcement and first responders killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

For more information on the Marcus R. Michles ROTC Scholarship and Michles Family Freedom Foundation, visit, call 850.864.4848 or email


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