There is a longstanding legacy of hard-charging military people and veterans, but few go as far as Dr Jonny Kim.
Jonny’s achievements include Harvard Medical School graduation, Navy SEAL service, and being the first Korean-American NASA astronaut. Scratch flying, on the other hand, is one of the things that this brilliant person has yet to master. On June 6, Kim flew solo in a Navy T-6 trainer for the first time.
“First solo complete!” he announced in a tweet. “An amazing & valuable growth experience. No substitute for pilot-in-command experience. Even had my 1st in-air malfunction to work through.”
The reason for the problem is unknown. Kim’s ability to manage whatever happened should come as no surprise, considering that he possesses a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat “V,” and has completed more than 100 combat missions in Iraq. It’s good to see his modesty in completing his maiden flight.
“Despite being a “solo,” we’re not alone,” he tweeted. “Training, study & comms w/ teammates ensure we’re safe & successful.”
His official bio seems like someone is writing about the character of a superhero.
Designated to SEAL Team Three, Charlie Platoon, in San Diego, California, Kim obtained several qualifications, such as Military Freefall Parachutist, Combatant Diver (closed circuit rebreather), Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Scout and Sniper, and Advanced Special Operations Techniques.
Kim is the first Korean-American to join a NASA mission in space. It all started with his enlistment in the Navy, where he started his career as a seaman recruit after graduating high school in 2002.
He was the child of poor South Korean immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, where he was born. It’s from this upbringing Kim learned the one thing he would now want to tell his younger self:
“All things that are worthwhile are very difficult to obtain,” he said.
After finishing basic training and the Corpsman school, he attended the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition-SEAL course in Coronado, California.
Kim served as a special operator with SEAL Team 3 in various roles, including combat medic, sniper, and navigator. His time spent aiding his comrades encouraged him to become a doctor.
As a result, Kim acquired his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship as part of the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Kim recently completed his first solo flight as a pilot, although he has prior experience with flight simulators. T-38 flight training, as well as robotics, physiological training, expeditionary training, field geology, water and wilderness survival training, and Russian language competence training, were all part of his preparatory work.
Kim joined Mission Control Center Houston two years ago as a Capsule Communicator to facilitate ISS operations. He was designated Increment Lead for Expedition 65 aboard the International Space Station in April 2021.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Mike Larson, a spokesman for Naval Air Training, Kim flying solo in a Navy trainer is not unexpected.
“It is common for our Navy officers who are NASA astronauts to train with us if they have not had previous flight training,” said Larson.
“If they are not pilots, at some point in their NASA pipeline, they will come to us for flight training. We also have seven candidates in one of our Pensacola squadrons going through the Astronaut Candidate Basic Aviation Curriculum (ASCAN) preparing for the Artemis Lunar program.”