11 Utah students selected to attend U.S. Air Force Academy

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SALT LAKE CITY – It’s a tough assignment, but 11 Utah students are up to the challenge of being freshman at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Lt. Col. Kirsta De Angelis, Utah admissions liaison officer for the Air Force Academy, said the state represented itself well.

“Utah has a lot to be proud of,” she said. “To have 11 students who have received appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy is very prestigious.”

Jillian Combs is one of those 11 students, and she said the path to admission was filled with challenges.

"It's really hard,” she said. “It takes a lot of physical dedication, mental dedication, and just willing to work hard, the hardest you've ever worked in your life even to just get into the academy let alone just being there, which my dad and brother say is quite the challenge as well."

Combs’ father is an academy graduate, and her brother is attending as a junior. She said service runs in her family.

"My parents would have supported me going to any service academy,” she said. “I chose Air Force myself because I just love their programs. They fit what I want to do."

Combs said she has an idea of what she might like to focus her studies on.

"I want to fly or I want to be in intelligence because I have taken Japanese for the past seven years, so that would be a really good way to use my language skills, is working intelligence in east Asia,” she said.

Recruiters said they have high hopes for the new recruits.

“These folks will be our future Air Force leaders, so we look forward to seeing them be successful in their four years and beyond,” De Angelis said.

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