The words “Space Force” may conjure up images of missions to the stars, but the newest branch of the military is as much about cyberspace as outer space. And one Tallmadge High School graduate has been selected to serve in this branch.
Sebastian Carter, 19, who graduated from Tallmadge High School in 2021, is only the third northern Ohio resident recruited to the U.S. Space Force, which was created in December 2019. Currently, there are 11 recruits from Ohio and roughly 2,000 total serving.
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Carter’s interest in computers and cybersecurity makes the Space Force and its training options a good fit, he said.
His early interest in computers came from gaming.
“I built my own PC and I wanted to know how it all came together and worked,” Carter said.
Space Force focuses on technology and security
There are currently 14 jobs available through the Space Force, said Sgt. Kelvin Boyington, who recruited Carter for the new branch.
“We are looking for people who have a passion for cybersecurity, networks and programming,” Boyington said.
Initially, Carter wanted to join the Air Force. His current plans are to complete the four-year contract, take courses through the Air Force’s community college program, then move on to a private sector job in cyber security. His dream would be to work for a place such as Google or NASA.
“But if I want more out of [the programs], I might stay,” Carter said.
His mother, Jennifer Hevelin, said the family is “so proud of him.”
“He always talked about the military when he was little,” she said. “He wanted to follow in his big brother’s footsteps. He has really fallen in love with computers.”
Carter said his older brother served in the Marines. In all, he has four other siblings, three brothers and a sister.
To prepare for his upcoming 7½-week training at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Carter said he has been working out, working to keep his weight down and studying. Currently, he works at the Kent Menard store.
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Job, education combine with Space Force
Boyington said the Space Force was still working to assign Carter his job. When Carter does report for training, which is expected to start sometime this summer, his days will resemble that of a civilian in an 8-hour day job.
After the training, he will have a brief leave to visit family before reporting to his first duty location.
That location will be in Florida, California or Colorado, currently the only three states with Space Force bases.
Enrolling in the Space Force is a way “to fulfill college and job experience” at the same time, Boyington said.
“I see the Space Force as a way to kick start your career without relying on your own finances,” Boyington said.
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The Space Force works with other areas in the Department of Defense, which includes the military, FBI, CIA and NASA, on network security. This includes computer networks and technology such as satellite security.
“There’s a growing threat of cybersecurity attacks from other countries like China, Russia, India and the Middle East,” Boyington said. “We say that in the Air Force, we own the skies, and in the Space Force, we are looking for superiority over space.”
The United States Space Force is organized under the Air Force.
For details, visit https://www.spaceforce.mil
Reporter April Helms can be reached at email@example.com