Up, up and away into the Air Force


Photo courtesy of Casey Branin

Senior Casey Branin watches the march to lunch during his trip to the academy.

Many students think that joining the army is a scary and intimidating job choice, but that is not the case for senior Casey Branin. Branin has personally chosen the Air Force as his next step after he graduates high school.

“I either want to go to [medical] school, and if that doesn’t work out, then become a gun ship pilot,” Branin said.

Branin started out by sending videos of his gymnastics highlights to many colleges in hopes of becoming a collegiate athlete. Branin has dedicated 13 years of his life to gymnastics, and it was a sport he always valued. Branin suffered multiple injuries in gymnastics and was told he would never do it again, but he has since become one of the best gymnasts in the country.

Eventually, the Air Force gymnastics coach received Branin’s video and contacted him with interest. He then flew out to the Colorado Springs Air Force Academy from Nov. 13-16 and learned what is required to know about the Air Force.

“Knowing [about] all the great opportunities, I don’t know how I could turn them down, and [I liked] knowing I would be doing my part to help this country to be the best it can,” Branin said.

Training at the United States Air Force Academy, however, is no easy task. Those who attend the academy face rigorous schedules, high expectations and a very firm rule of conduct. From their experience in the Air Force, those in training will endure both extreme physical and mental preparation. Branin believes that he is mature enough and has what it takes to tackle the tasks the Air Force will throw at him.

“Everything there is very strict. It’s not fun and games. It’s the real deal and you learn how to grow up,” Branin said.

After going through the academy and serving time in the Air Force, Branin plans on getting a job within the Air Force. He has now dedicated his time towards attaining good grades and preparing to join the Air Force. Branin hopes to be an honorary Air Force member as he continues to work hard on his goals.