Requirements and Application

SGT Michael Joe Beckerman was 17 ½ when he enlisted into the National Guard.

SGT Beckerman served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving his country on these deployments, SGT Beckerman enrolled into the Sonoran Desert Institute and worked toward continuing his education. On 31 December 2010, he made the ultimate sacrifice. SGT Beckerman was killed in action (KIA) in Howz-e Madad, Afghanistan. He is survived by his daughter Brianna.

In memoriam of our student’s great sacrifice, we are proud to present the SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship provides full tuition and fees each semester to two recipients annually, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.

Initial Eligibility Requirements

The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree program. Students that are awarded an SDI scholarship while already attending SDI are responsible for the charges applied through the current semester. The SDI Scholarship will be applied at the beginning of the next semester following the date the scholarship is awarded. All applying candidates must:

  • Currently be serving in the armed forces or be a veteran of military service.
  • Be in good standing with his/her current branch of service or have received an “Honorable Discharge.”
  • Provide a DD214, or other documentation verifying military service.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to and passion for the firearms industry and gunsmithing trade by answering essay questions.
  • Submit a regular SDI application for enrollment, with all relevant supporting documentation.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation sent directly to the school by the individual providing the recommendation. This letter may come from the commander for members of the military service or from any non-family member for applicants that are post-military.
  • Begin studies at SDI within six months following the award of the scholarship.

Continuing Eligibility

The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science and Firearms Technology degree program. All applying candidates must:

  • Meet SDI’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and be free of any financial holds on their accounts.
  • Be continuously enrolled to retain scholarship eligibility.


Applicants must complete the SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship application in its entirety, including essay, by the deadline dates described below. Remit any supplemental documentation to


To be considered for the award, SDI must be in receipt of all application documentation as noted above by the following deadlines:

  • By midnight Mountain Standard Time on December 1st for the spring award.
  • By midnight Mountain Standard Time on June 1st for the fall award.

Evaluation Process

Applications will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee. The selected recipient will be identified based on a combination of factors including:

  • Essay Score
  • Recommendation Letter

Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision via email approximately 30 days after the scholarship application deadline. The chosen recipient must respond within 30 days indicating intent to accept the scholarship. Should the recipient opt-out or fail to respond within 30 days, the scholarship will be awarded to the next highest qualifying applicant.