Michael Jerome Fowlkes, Callsign: “Magic,” was born in South Carolina on March 20, 1959, but raised in the beach resort area of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Educated in Atlantic City and Pleasantville Public Schools, Michael graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1977, matriculating that year into Glassboro State College, Glassboro, New Jersey, majoring in Accounting. Upon graduation from GSC in 1981, now known as Rowan University, he was hired by the Casino Control Commission, State of New Jersey as a Gaming Inspector and Auditor to observe, report, identify and verify taxable revenues generated through Casino Gambling. In February of 1984, in order to answer a higher calling to better serve his country, Michael left the Casino Control Commission to become an Officer of Marines in the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.
Upon graduation from Officer Candidate School and The Basic School in November 1984, Michael was assigned to the Marine Aviation Support Group at NAS Pensacola, Florida for Pilot Training. He was “Winged” as a Naval Aviator and USMC Helicopter Pilot in January of 1987 to be assigned to the 3RD Marine Aircraft Wing in Southern California. From there, “Magic,” the Callsign given to him by his Commanding Officer, deployed numerous times to primarily Asia, Southwest Asia, and the Persian Gulf. After a MEU(Special Operations Capable) deployment on the USS Peleliu to the Persian Gulf, Magic was rewarded by orders to Pensacola, Florida in 1992 to become a Flight Instructor, eventually instructing Student Naval Aviators in the T-34C Turbo Mentor at VT-3 at NAS Whiting Field, Florida. Michael found this tour to be the highlight of his military career so far. In September of 1994, Michael’s Instructor tour ended when his active duty service ended after 10 consecutive years with the United States Marine Corps. That Christmas, he took a part time job as an assistant driver for UPS during the Holiday rush. In 1995, due to his sense of duty, and his love of flying, Michael was hired as an U. S. Air Force Reserve Special Operations Pilot flying C-130’s out of Duke Field, Eglin AFB, Florida for 7 years. In 1996, while still flying as a reservist for the Special Ops Unit, he was also hired by United Parcel Service Airlines, Inc. (UPS), as a Flight Engineer eventually flying the B-747 (100,200), and the MD-11F internationally. Michael is currently employed by UPS as a Pilot to this day.
Also in 1996, Michael “Magic” Fowlkes Co-Founded the General Daniel “Chappie” James Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida with three other Training Wing 5 pilots to give back, and stimulate the educational opportunities for the youth of Pensacola. The Flight Academy uses Aviation as a setting and a tool to teach S.T.E.M. subjects and healthy behaviors to increase the likelihood of success in any given field of endeavor, while making the instruction fun and relevant. Currently Michael Jerome Fowlkes is the Flight Academy Director of Operations and Education, affectionately known as the “Camp Commandant” for his continual emphasis on Safety and Good Order. Michael is married with a blended Family of four adult children and one Grandchild. He is also a proud Life Member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, boasting such members as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.