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Growing passion: a driven junior officer’s perspective

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Hayman
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Embarking on a lengthy journey across the ocean heading to a new land, a girl at the young age of 10 left her home in South Korea to somewhere that skyscrapers towered over her with heavy baggage in hand, welcoming her to a previously unknown environment -- the United States.

In the early ‘80s, Sunni Cho was exposed to abundant racism but persevered as she continuously adapted to her new home. She married and had two children, one of whom is now an officer in the United States Air Force.

Setting up for an unforgettable experience, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. David Cho, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron maintenance assistant officer in charge, reminisces about his family, culture and past for a greater future in the Air Force during his first Bomber Task Force mission at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom.

David said it was challenging for his mother due to the cultural differences she faced while raising her children, as she feared they would forget their Korean heritage.

“My parents always taught us about our culture; growing up, we celebrated Korean and American holidays,” said David. “Since I was born in the States, I’m Korean-American, not just Korean, but it helped shape who I am.”

As he grew older and embraced his Korean-American identity, he would later attend the University of North Carolina, where he learned about the Air Force ROTC program.

“I was heavily introverted before joining Air Force ROTC, as meeting new people was nerve-wracking, but I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and learn to talk to people and make new friends," said David.

After graduating from UNC and receiving his commission, David has had a unique experience during his four years in the Air Force. He went from a combat systems officer in training to working in munitions, protocol, and now maintenance.

Due to the variety of jobs David has held so far, he expressed he has gained much more confidence in his abilities and made him a better person overall.
Recently, David gladly took the opportunity to be part of the 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and lead Airmen for BTF 24-1, while getting to learn more about the B-1B Lancer.

"This was my one opportunity to experience this, I desired to go because it’s different. Munitions officers don’t deploy anymore, so this was the only chance I’d ever get,” said David.

David’s deployment experience not only fulfilled his ambition for something different but also ignited a newfound devotion for the Air Force.

“Before coming out here I wasn’t very passionate about the Air Force, but seeing the B-1B on the flightline and getting the opportunity to interact with my Airmen working hard in cold and rainy weather is my main drive on the BTF,” said David. “Every time I see that, I grow more passionate about my work.”