U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --
“I started looking at colleges and I remember dad mentioning the (Air Force) Academy when I was younger,” the young cadet said while adjusting her uniform. “I came out to the Academy for the summer seminar program and although I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to do it here.”
Cadet 3rd Class Kaura Gornall is currently a junior at the U.S. Air Force Academy, scheduled to graduate in 2021, and is majoring in international studies. Her father, Senior Master Sgt. John Gornall, a medical technician with the 445th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, was happy to be able to complete his annual tour at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where he could see Kaura in action.
Although Kaura was offered a full scholarship to Ohio University, she chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy instead.
“She looked into the Air Force Academy, and she said 'I can do it,’” Gornall laughed, tilting his chin up slightly with pride. "I always knew that if she applied, she’d make it, but I still got that tightness in my chest when she sent me a picture of the acceptance letter.”
The U.S. Air Force Academy is a world-class university and it offers more than just an academic education; cadets follow a rigorous schedule which includes academics, athletics, military training and live under strict rules of conduct.
“At other colleges you don’t know who your kid is hanging around, or what they are doing when they go back to the dorms,” Gornall said with a slight twitch. “Here, I know that somebody is watching over my daughter and she's safe.”
Cadets at the Academy live by a code of honor and integrity, which is something that Kaura grew up with, as a part of a military family.
“She knew the Air Force core values before she got here,” Gornall said smiling at Kaura. “She also told us at the time that she liked the smaller community of the Academy.”
Kaura added that although her dad hadn't been overly strict with her and her siblings, she certainly felt that growing up in a military family had better prepared her for cadet life.
“It's great to have the opportunity to come up here, and even have the chance to work with her,” Gornall said seriously. “Almost the entire family has come out here to see her now and it's always good to check in.”
Both the 445th ASTS and the 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron were assigned to support the cadet clinic as the newest cadets admitted to the Academy completed the final phase of Basic Cadet Training. Kaura also has a role in BCT, as a military guidance officer.
“My son is also applying, and hopefully coming to the Air Force Academy next year,” Gornall said with a grin. “Then we'll have a freshman and a senior here at the same time.”
The U.S. Air Force Academy proudly reports 65 years of Academy tradition and service, and with Kaura Gornall set to complete her studies and become one of the leaders of tomorrow’s Air Force, the Gornall family is continuing their own tradition of service.
“We are so proud of everything she has accomplished,” Gornall. “We can't wait to see where she goes from here."