MADISON, S.D., February 2, 2021 – “I love space,” said Gabe Lamb, a Dakota State senior majoring in cyber operations.
The Rapid City, S.D. native said he has always been obsessed with space, watching rocket launches and space exploration videos. When he learned that applications for the United States Space Force (USSF) Cyber Warfare Operations division were being accepted from members of the Air Force ROTC, he knew this was a significant opportunity.
A cadet lieutenant colonel in the DSU/SDSU Air Force ROTC, he applied for one of the seven slots available nationally. When he got the call that he had been chosen, “I had no words.”
Lamb will graduate in May, and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He will do some training this summer before starting with the USSF.
Established on December 20, 2019, the Space Force is the newest branch of the Armed Forces. Its mission is to organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space, and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. The USSF website points out that “Space affects almost every part of our daily lives and is fundamental to our economic system.”
As an example of that statement, Lamb noted the number of satellites in use around the planet. “We depend on them for GPS, weather, internet,” he stated. “If they go down, they cause major problems on Earth.”
By serving in the USSF, “I can be part of the solution, and be part of the efforts creating building blocks for this newest branch of the Armed Forces.”
He is also excited by the opportunities in the USSF. “It promises to be a really exciting decade for space lovers,” Lamb said, citing discussions to create a base on the Moon, and travel to Mars. “The chance to be a part of that is so awesome,” he said. If given the opportunity, “I would 100% go to the Moon.”
Lamb said coming to DSU as a transfer student was the “best decision I ever made.”
Austin Slaughter, veteran affairs coordinator at DSU, and a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard, said, “Dakota State has always done a great job of molding and training many students into future leaders who will make a big impact.”
Not only does this reflect well on DSU, but Slaughter also credits Lamb, saying “Gabe has put in the work to learn and become the person he is today.” The opportunity with USSF will likely open many doors for him in the career of cyber operations, and even more so with his military career, said Slaughter.
DSU partners with SDSU to offer both Air Force and Army ROTC, Slaughter said, and DSU students are eligible for ROTC scholarships. Cadets take a class each semester specific to their level for the ROTC program; some travel to the SDSU campus is involved for some of the lab portions of those classes.