University of South Florida student and former U.S. Army Green Beret Joshua Pericles is one of just a few dozen veterans who received the 2017 Tillman Military Scholars award through the Pat Tillman foundation.
Pericles is among 61 U.S. military service veterans and military spouses across the nation to receive the award.
The Pat Tillman Foundation recognizes individuals for "their military service, leadership and academic excellence."
A native to St. Petersburg, Pericles enlisted in the Army in 2006 where he completed Special Forces Assessment and Selection. Pericles attended the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School where he completed the Special Forces Qualification course, earning his Green Beret.
Pericles served in the military for eight years with deployments to Afghanistan and South America.
The USF student is now pursuing a degree in engineering with high hopes of a career with NASA.
Since last year, Pericles has been part of the NASA Pathways co-op program and is currently working with aerospace engineers while completing his degree.
He hopes to work on human spaceflight projects.
Tillman, the Arizona football star, gave up his sports career to enlist in the military after 9/11.
He later died in Afghanistan.
"I know exactly what he was thinking when he joined the military, and I joined for the same reasons," said Pericles.