One SJAFB Airman's journey to space

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sabrina Fuller

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – As he looked up into the sky and
watched the stars with curiosity, he pictured himself floating among them in space.

At only 8-years-old, Airman 1st Class Alasdair Carmichael, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman, knew what he wanted to do with his life: he wanted to be an astronaut.

With only $63 in his pocket, Carmichael was 17-years-old when he traveled from Scotland to the U.S. in June 2014, for the first time.

Along the way he faced several set-backs that caused him to put his dreams on hold and return back to Scotland in July 2017.

While home, Carmichael revitalized his mind-set and thought of a new plan.

"My mom encouraged me to go the military route," said Carmichael.

He soon returned to America to join the military and pursue his dream.

Carmichael entered Air Force basic military training in June 2021. Following BMT, he went to technical school to become an aerospace propulsion Airman.

"I work with the F-15E Strike Eagle," he said. "I believe this will increase my chances of being accepted into NASA."

Alongside starting his military career, Carmichael is attending Harvard University and pursuing his master's degree in bioengineering. He is also applying for the NASA astronaut selection program, and volunteers with the NASA citizen science project.

The enthusiastic Airman doesn't shy away from expressing his goals of becoming the first Scottish astronaut. One of his close friends, Airman 1st Class Cho Yohseb, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft ground equipment technician, echoes Carmichael's dedication to his goals.

"I've known him for more than a year," said Yohseb, who met Carmichael in BMT. "He has always been dedicated and determined to reach his goals. He is very smart and is always willing to help and give advice. His determination really separates him from other people."

"Carmichael is someone who helps others and will get tasks done," said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Branham, 4th CMS jet engine intermediate maintenance NCO in charge. "He joined propulsion systems to learn about engines so he can become an astronaut. He continues to strive for that goal and as a unit, we will help him reach those aspirations."

As he continues his pursuit of becoming an astronaut, Carmichael said he is proud of his accomplishments and looks forward to the next step.

"My career in the Air Force is a gateway to achieving my goals, every challenge I've experienced has been a new opportunity," he said. "I'm glad I have never given up, and I'm glad to have these new opportunities."