The Space Force, that is.
By. Capt. Taylor Criswell, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas — Staff Sgt. Paul Daw, 12Y geospatial engineer, was recently selected from a pool of over 3,000 applicants to transition from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Space Force. Daw is originally from Salt Lake City and has been with the 1st Air Cav. Brigade since 2019.
“It’s kind of exciting to be part of a new organization; it’s historic to some extent,” said Daw. “This is an opportunity to do something different and still stay in the military. I’m really excited to be part of the groundwork for this new branch.”
He had been joking with his counterparts for months about putting in an application when someone told him that the Space Force had opened transfer vacancies from branches other than the Air Force.
“They posted that it opened up to the rest of the branches, so I found the [posting] and applied,” Daw said. “It was a very simple, straightforward process.”
Although Daw is currently an Army geospatial engineer, his education and professional experience started elsewhere. Prior to enlisting, he attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where he earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry. He then worked as a firefighter for Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and the Utah Department of Natural Resources.
“I take a lot of pride in all the things I’ve done for the Army and the things I did in my civilian education,” he said. “It’s really paid off.”
Daw joined the Army in 2015 and completed his first assignment with the 10th Mountain Division. In addition to his undergraduate education, he also completed a graduate certificate in geographic information systems (GIS).
Although he is required to attend the Space Force equivalent of advanced individual training (AIT), there are similarities with his current occupation. Army geospatial engineers collect, analyze and distribute geographic information for operations.
“I’ll be doing intelligence work based on satellite imagery collections,” he said. It is essentially “tactical identification from space platforms.”
When asked how his family felt, he said the transition to the Space Force had the potential to be very good for his family. His brother is a military intelligence non-commissioned officer with the Air Force, stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Daw hopes to be stationed.
“My dad is super, super excited,” he said. “He was visiting this weekend and I let him know that I got my official letter. He said he had to get a photo. So, he took a picture of it- Congratulations, Sergeant. You’ve been transitioned to the Space Force.”
For more information about the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, please contact Capt. Taylor Criswell, Brigade Public Affairs Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.