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Indy Hoosier makes history as first African American in Indiana accepted into US Space Force

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indy Hoosier took his official oath of enlistment Tuesday for the US Space Force, becoming the first African American in Indiana to be accepted into the US military’s newest branch.

“I feel like being the first African American applicant in Indianapolis, and Indiana perhaps, is like really, really big,” Judah Officer said. “I just can’t get the words for it. It feels really great to be able to do it and be able to represent myself, my family, and the people that support me.”

Judah is a lifelong Hoosier, born and raised on Indy’s east side. He played football for and graduated from Cathedral High School. Serving in the US Space Force is allowing him to accomplish a dream he’s had nearly his whole life.

“I’ve been thinking about it since I was a little kid,” Judah said.

Judah’s parents watched as their youngest son took the oath of enlistment Tuesday.

“His path has almost like chased him down,” James Officer III said. “So, it’s amazing to see that come to fruition, to see the pride in his face, to see the length in his gait. It just makes me very proud as a father.”

Judah’s mom said the more information he told her about Space Force, the more excited she was for her son.

“I was like this is such an opportunity and for it to fall at your feet is such a God thing,” Patricia Officer said. “We were just so appreciative and proud that he was chosen for this opportunity. “

Judah is now at basic training for the next 7.5 weeks in San Antonio. He will then go to Biloxi, Miss. for further training.

The US Space Force was established in December 2019 under former President Donald Trump. The US Space Force focuses on securing and protecting space.

We rely on space every day, through satellites that power GPS technology, web browsing, phone calls, and the ability to use credit cards at the gas pump.

“It really focuses a lot on the communication systems, things as small as the satellites in the air and being able to have space operators that track those, as well as be able to use those satellites to maintain communication anywhere in the world,” MSgt. Joseph Saucier said. “Be able to track weather systems for aircraft, and things along those lines. Be able to monitor any potential threats to the US homeland or our allies.”

Saucier said they hope to recruit 376 civilians for the Space Force in this fiscal year.