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Shooting for the Stars: LVC Alum Serving in the United States Space Force

Nate Wilson is a Lebanon Valley College graduate and an officer in the Space Force

LVC alumnus Nate Wilson ’14 is serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Space Force, where he works as a training flight commander for the 22nd Space Operations Squadron. He’s responsible for ensuring all new squadron personnel can perform the duties of operating the Air Force Satellite Control Network, a $6.8 billion network of ground antennas critical to communication. 

Wilson was commissioned into the Space Force in September after serving almost three years as a space operations officer in the U.S. Air Force.

“I looked into joining the Air Force because it could provide me an opportunity to become a pilot,” said Wilson. “When I heard I could be one of the first officers in the Space Force, making the switch was an easy decision as someone who has always had a fascination with space.”

Wilson also is pursuing dual master’s degrees in engineering management and aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

While he has always had an interest in space and flying, the idea of moving to Colorado, picking up two master’s degrees, and serving in the military wasn’t always Wilson’s plan. He credits LVC for pushing him to accomplish more than he ever thought possible.

When Wilson first showed up at LVC as a young first-year student, his only intention was to study music recording technology and follow his passion for music. After a successful semester in a physics class during his first year, Wilson, with the guidance of Dr. Mike Day, professor emeritus of physics, decided to add physics as a second major during his sophomore year.

“When I was growing up, I was very introverted and never really left my safety ‘bubble’ until I went to LVC,” said Wilson. “As I made more friends, I began to try new things and found that opening myself up to new experiences would either lead to an enjoyable time or a funny story for later. In college, I never intended to go into the military or pursue a master's degree—let alone both. 

“LVC was a major stepping-stone for discovering just how many amazing things are out there if you're willing to be open to them,” he said.

Although he hadn’t always precisely known what he wanted his career to look like, Wilson finally feels settled. He looks forward to staying in Colorado and working in the space industry after completing his military service. 

 

-- Darby Seymour, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant