iSchool Senior is FSU’s First ROTC Cadet to Directly Join U.S. Space Force
FSU School of Information (iSchool) senior, Benjamen Johnson, is making history this upcoming Spring. Upon graduating, he will be the first FSU Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet to commission directly into the United States Space Force (USSF), a department of the Air Force. As an Information Technology (IT) major, Benjamen regards his time here at FSU as influential in shaping both his character and career plans. He is set to be commissioned into the Space Force as a Space Operations Officer the day after he graduates in May 2021.
CCI had the chance to catch up with Benjamen where he shared more about the Space Force and his time at FSU.
How did you get into the U.S. Space Force and what made you decide to join?
Joining the Space Force wasn’t a huge leap from my original plans, as I was already pursuing a commission into the Air Force. I was provided with an opportunity to put my name up for a slot in the USSF, and the chance to be a trailblazer in this new branch was something I couldn’t pass up. A package of information about my time in the ROTC was delivered to the board deciding who filled those empty slots, and I was lucky enough to be among the names selected. A few pieces of paperwork later and I was locked into a career.
What inspired you to join the ROTC program here at FSU and, ultimately, the military?
Ever since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to be in the Air Force. From my grandfather to my father and my uncle: the military has been a staple in my family for generations. I knew from a young age that I wanted to share this legacy and repay the Air Force’s provisions for my family by serving myself. Despite my eagerness, my father still aspired for me to earn a college degree first. I applied in my senior year of high school for a national ROTC scholarship. As part of the process, I was required to partake in an interview with an Officer at the nearest ROTC detachment to my high school, this being FSU. I knew right when I finished my interview at FSU that this was where I wanted to be.
What has your time at FSU taught you? How will you carry these lessons into the Space Force?
My time at FSU has taught me many things, but mainly it has taught me the courage to invest in my future. I started in a major completely wrong for me, and I quickly learned that it’s more important to study something that interests you rather than something that you think will earn more money. I learned to expand my horizons and to be brave enough to try something new. I never thought I would study IT prior to applying to the program, and now I regard it as one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I also learned to reach out. If you’re curious about a topic or a career field, don’t be afraid to ask someone who knows! People will rarely turn you down. Chances are they are genuinely passionate about the subject and eager to share their knowledge with someone willing to listen. Every connection you make, no matter how big or small, is beneficial.
The lessons I’ve learned in my time at FSU are what helped me to decide to apply for the Space Force. I’ve developed a mindset of courage and that is something I will carry with me throughout my time in the Space Force. I have such an amazing opportunity ahead of me, and I cannot wait to see how my future plays out.