2023 Tillman Scholar

J. Richard Korecki

Air Force
University of California - Los Angeles
Ph.D., Psychology

“Life is full of challenges. I want to help others hone their innate strength and resilience to thrive in the face of adversity and emerge stronger on the other side.”

Tyrus Korecki is a combat veteran who served seven years in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Operations pilot, leader, Division I coach, and teacher. With his interest in performance and holistic living, he was the first active-duty member to bring meditation and yoga to the members of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base. Throughout his career, he gained experience leading and building teams, designing and implementing complex organizational change, and creating innovative solutions to optimize the warfighter operating in demanding high-stress environments. 

With more than 1,000 flying hours, including combat hours from his deployments to Afghanistan in the MC-130J, T-6 Texan II, and T-1A, and analytical knowledge of the complexities of the biological stress response, he has both an empirical and theoretical understanding of operating under extreme conditions. 

Tyrus is following his passion for performance and mental fortitude by pursuing a Ph.D. in health psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on mind-body interventions that promote health and psychological well-being for individuals in stressful circumstances. His goal is to integrate these practices into initial training programs to give recruits mental health tools to strengthen their resilience and thrive in any situation. Tyrus is a certified yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast, and lifelong student. He is on a mission to help individuals excel in challenging, high-stress environments by showing them how to experience each moment fully.