Face of Defense: Air Guardsman Earns Air Force Academy Appointment

Air Force Airman 1st Class Jasmine Griffith, a client systems technician in the Washington Air National Guard’s 194th Communications Flight, has been selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Griffith said she was inspired to join the military by her father, a 20-year Army veteran, who, along with her high school calculus teacher, encouraged her to apply to the academy. After a tour of the academy, she was determined to attend.

Griffith didn’t make the cut the first time she applied. Instead of being discouraged and giving up, she strengthened her resolve.

She joined the Washington Air National Guard as a way to serve the country while still pursuing her goal.

“I knew that I needed to show more growth since my first application, so I tried to volunteer for as many opportunities as I could when I got back from technical school,” Griffith said. “I volunteered for the fires. I volunteered to do Junior ROTC drill competition judging. I even gave a speech at a local high school about the Air National Guard’s cyber security mission.”

Getting In

In July, Airman 1st Class Griffith will become Cadet Griffith, an Air Force Academy student and future Air Force officer. “I’m nervous to go back to school in general, it’s been about two years since I’ve been in high school but I’m more excited for the whole experience than I am nervous,” she said. “I’ve wanted this so bad and have been working towards it since 2015, and it’s finally happening. I still can’t believe it sometimes.”

The application process was “very rigorous with tough physical, personal and academic standards,” Griffith said.

She is hoping to major in computer and network security and work as an Air Force communications officer when she graduates.

Griffith has advice for fellow airmen who may be interested in the Air Force Academy. “Don’t give up! If at first you don’t get in, keep trying and keep improving and working towards your goal,” she said. “There were many times when I thought I wasn’t good enough and didn’t meet the standards, but I just kept at it, and now here I am.”