Even though the military isn't for everyone, it can be pretty great.
Here is my journey!
If you're interested in joining the military and want to serve in the Air Force, then check out the Air Force Academy. The college experience is unrivaled and stays with you for life!
But what made my time so special?
Well, for starters, the university sits at the Rocky Mountains' foothills. And, as you may know, the school is 7,258 feet above sea level, to be exact!
Not only is the elevation conducive for intense workouts, but the overall environment helps thousands of young adults, ages 18 to 23, become capable and motivated military officers. Crazy, right? When I reflect, I can't believe all that happened!
L-R/U-D: Graduation, Four Degree (Frosh), Football Game
Traditionally, the school commissions around 800-1,000 Air Force and Space Force officers/yr. So don't be deterred by the 78% graduation rate you read online. Of course, it is military school so it's going to be rigorous. Surviving those four years requires good friends and healthy outlets and these accentuate your Academy experience!
(Plus, it keeps you sane!)
Here are my top three favorite moments:
Being on the Model United Nations team
Participating in all the Airmanship Program
Serving alongside truly good and decent friends
Huge Win at UCLA
First on the list is the Model United Nations team. Oh man... there is so much I could say. But here is what you'll need to know. It's an on-campus club, one of four Dean's teams, where cadets travel and learn about international relations through consensus-styled debate. It's known as Parliamentary procedure and, despite conventional thought, wasn't named after our team advisor. (Funny, but I'm not joking!)
Article I Wrote: The US Air Force Academy Approach to Model United Nations
This debate style promotes understanding how the world works, like knowing the difference between "hard" or "soft" power. And these distinctions help military officers navigate complex, austere, or intellectually uncertain environments.
(At least I think so).
All while thinking about what the right balance is of military force or diplomacy and when to use it.
L-R/U-D: Soloing a Plane, Field Trip to Utah, Parachuting
Second up are the Airmanship Programs! Since the school is called the Air Force Academy, the assumption is that the institution molds the future Air Force and Space Force officers. Accordingly, there are numerous opportunities for cadets to experience aviation hands-on -- which is really fun and scary!
Like many of my classmates, I never regretted any opportunity in the Airmanship Programs, whether it was flying or parachuting, because they build self sufficiency!
Rounding out my list is serving my country with great friends. As a regular kid from a family that values service, I learned from a young age it was essential to give back.
Recently, I had the chance to deploy and be part of something much greater than myself.
Here's a cool photo from my time at Al Udeid at the Combined Air Operations Center. While there I coordinated plane movements.
This was truly such an impactful and positive memory that I'll always be proud of for the rest of my life (no exaggeration). I hope you have the chance to experience the same!