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Navy SEAL turned Harvard doctor now becomes NASA astronaut

Jonny Kim (NASA photo/Released)
January 14, 2020

At 35, Navy SEAL and doctor Jonny Kim has added numerous accomplishments to his resume and now he has one more title on the list: astronaut.

Kim was selected for NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class and recently completed the extensive two-year training to become an Astronaut, graduating last week. According to a NASA bio, Kim has learned to undergo spacewalks, fly a T-38 jet trainer, work with robotics and speak Russian proficiently.

In a Monday tweet, Kim shared his latest accomplishment of walking among the NASA Astronaut Corps.

Kim said he and his fellow candidates were “the lucky ones to represent humanity.”

This is not Kim’s first impressive accomplishment.

In 2002, Kim enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After first completing the Hospital Corpsman “A” school training, Kim continued on to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif., the proving ground for prospective Navy SEALs. After completing his SEAL training, including additional training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C. and the Special Operations Combat Medic Course, Kim was assigned to SEAL Team 3.

Throughout his SEAL career, Kim performed as a Special Operations Combat Medic, sniper, navigator and point man on more than 100 combat operations across two deployments to Ramadi and Sadr City, Iraq.

In his Navy service, Kim has earned the Silver Star Medal,  the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” as well as the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and other military decorations.

Kim has since commissioned as an officer in the Navy through the Navy’s enlisted-to-officer program. Around the same time, Kim graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics from the University of San Diego in 2012. He went on to earn a Doctorate of Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 2016.

By the time NASA selected Kim, he was a resident physician in emergency medicine with Partners Healthcare at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Since completing his astronaut training, Kim was assigned to the Astronaut Office where he currently awaits his first NASA flight assignment.

On top of his current NASA tasking, Kim is still on active duty with the Navy.

Kim can be seen wearing a patch on his NASA flight uniform with the iconic trident insignia of the Navy SEALs.