The United States military has several branches and auxiliaries. Some young adults are drawn to the service because of patriotism, career interest, family tradition. In the case of Julia Pack, graduate of the Air Force Academy, joining the Air Force served as the perfect avenue for her dream job of becoming a pilot. 

Growing up in a military home, Pack saw how the military operated as the daughter of an Air Force dad who served as a flight doctor. According to Pack, she did not express interest in joining the military until she began investigating options for college and realized firsthand her love for flying. 

“I joined because (it’s kind of a mix of things) my dad was in the Air Force, and so I grew up with that military lifestyle. I told myself I never wanted to do that type of thing. I just wasn’t interested at the time, and then the more I learned about the Air Force Academy, the more it intrigued me…And so, between that and BYU, it was a really hard decision to make, but I knew that I wanted to do something more,” she said. 

While in the Air Force, Pack worked to become a pilot and flew glider planes and other aircraft. As a part of her capstone project, she assisted in designing and testing a space satellite. After receiving a “golden handshake” or medical retirement from the Air Force with a degree in Astronautical Engineering, Pack joined the Space Force as a civilian contractor and taught as an Orbital Warfare instructor.  

She has since enrolled at BYU-Idaho. She enjoys being closer to family in Idaho and having the freedom to explore the arts. She is loving her first semester of classes through the university. 

“I love it. It’s so different than the Air Force Academy, but it’s really friendly. We would say at the Air Force Academy that it was the friendliest place on earth because you’re required to greet everyone, but that’s like a different friendly to here. Now, it’s like people say hi or they smile at you because they want to,” Pack said.