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Student Highlights

Killian Faulk, Research Team
21 May 2021
Written By
Military REACH Project Manager
Killian Faulk is an intern with Military REACH and became interested in our project because she is an Air Force ROTC cadet and is obtaining her degree in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS). When I met Killian, I could tell she was eager to find a way to merge her two worlds of the military and HDFS, so REACH was a natural fit! Killian has been an asset to our team, and her teammates describe her as positive, hard-working, receptive to feedback, and responsible – all of which are incredibly valuable traits. Because of Killian’s upbringing, career field, and degree, she offers a unique perspective to each of the tasks she works on and continually provides our team with valuable insight into military life (e.g., rewards and challenges of growing up in a National Guard family, how current policies affect ROTC cadets). Continue reading to learn more about Killian, specifically the deciding factor for her to join the Armed Forces, what it’s like to be a Military REACH intern, and more!

1. What are three words your friends/family would use to describe you and why?

My friends and family would describe me as committed, attentive, and selfless. Committed because when I set my heart or mind to a goal, I am dedicated to accomplishing it no matter how much hard work goes into it or the amount of frustration I get from it. Attentive because my friends describe me as a good listener, someone they feel like they can come to for advice, or "the mom friend.” Selfless because of the Air Force core value, “service before self,” that resonates with me the most. I try to do what I can to help someone else even if I don’t have anything to gain from it other than feeling good about being helpful.

2. What influenced your decision to join the Armed Forces, specifically the Air Force?

I grew up watching and hearing my parents talk about their careers in the Army, and that’s how I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that. Sometimes they would even let me attend the events they participated in. I loved getting a peek into what they were doing - I just thought it was cool. I chose the Air Force, because when I told my parents I wanted to join the military, they said the Air Force is “the nicest.” At that time, I liked the Air Force because their color was blue, and they had cool airplanes (I was 11 years old). However, over the years as I have learned more about the Air Force, it just feels like the right fit for me. Since joining AFROTC, I have not second guessed my decision. The people and culture make me feel at home.

3. You are an Air Force ROTC cadet and majoring in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS). How do these two worlds overlap?

When I originally started my degree in HDFS, I had no idea these two areas would overlap as much as they do. However, it makes sense, because both fields are people- and service-focused. Through HDFS, I have learned how to better serve people through education and resources and have enhanced my skills in becoming a helping professional. In AFROTC, I have learned to be a selfless leader, follower, and wingman. Between the training I’ve gained from both fields, I have been able to improve my interpersonal skills and grow as a well-rounded professional, which is important with many of the Air Force career fields (e.g., Force Support Officer [elaborated on below]).

4. What would be your Air Force dream job?

Surprisingly, my dream job is the one I was assigned by the Air Force! My Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) is Force Support Officer. As a Force Support Officer, I have the potential to work in a few different areas related to supporting people (e.g., personnel and admin, education and training, child development centers and youth programs, recreation and fitness, equal opportunity, sexual assault prevention). At some point in my career, I would love to work with the child development centers and youth programs on base.

5. What were your expectations when you first started working with Military REACH?

I hoped to become more knowledgeable about the resources available to military families so I could advocate for them when I commission into the Air Force. I also wanted to improve my writing skills and learn more about military families from a research lens versus what I saw growing up and through AFROTC. Most of my previous knowledge about military families came from my parents serving in the Army and my participation in Air Force ROTC.

6. What skills and experiences have you gained while working with Military REACH?

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I agreed to be a part of the Military REACH research project, but I have been surprised by the variety of tasks I have been able to complete (e.g., assisting with research reports, leading social media meetings). Since working with Military REACH, I have had the opportunity to write in a variety of formats ranging from creating social media posts to writing evidence-based articles focused on the well-being of military families. These different writing opportunities are refreshing because they have been new ventures for me. I have gained a newfound sense of confidence in my writing skills, learned more about research and how it informs policy and practice, and have learned about available resources I can use for myself, my family, and my fellow Service members.

7. What have you learned about yourself while working with Military REACH?

The most important thing I learned about myself while working with Military REACH is that I love the career path I’m on! Everything I have done with REACH has helped me to lay the foundation for what I will be doing in the Air Force, and it continuously builds my excitement about this career. My internship with REACH bridges my knowledge and skills from both HDFS and AFROTC, which is something I have not experienced until now. Previously, HDFS and AFROTC seemed like two separate parts of my life. Military REACH has offered me the opportunity to contribute to the project in meaningful ways by allowing me to use my strengths from both worlds.
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