A South Korean Air Force cadet receiving commissioned education at the U.S. Air Force Academy has become “vice wing commander,” the second highest cadet leadership position, since January, officials here said Thursday.
Bae Jae-jin, 24, was given the honorable post on Jan. 2 for the first time as a foreign cadet in the 63-year history of the prestigious academy located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Air Force said.
He will serve as the vice representative for the academy’s 4,500 cadets until May 25 when he is to graduate.
“One of my biggest goals here is to return home in good health after graduation here. I feel grateful that I am able to study here on behalf of my fellows and will try my utmost to focus on education here,” Bae said in a press release.
Entering South Korea’s Air Force Academy in 2006, he flew to the U.S. in June 2007. While studying in the U.S., he held a variety of cadet leadership posts. He also received honor student awards that are given to cadets who are in the top 5 percent in terms of their academic performance.
Last September, he offered medals to the bereaved families whose loved ones died in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a representative of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
At the U.S. Air Force school, there are some 120 foreign cadets from 46 countries including Poland, Colombia, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. South Korea has sent 20 Air Force cadets since 1968. Currently, three Korean cadets are studying there.