A Letter from Gen. John E. Hyten, USAF


As a youth, I was fortunate enough to grow up in Huntsville, Alabama where my dad worked on the Saturn V. In 5th grade, because I was good in math and science, I got to meet Wernher Von Braun.  These and other opportunities provided career focus and shaped me into the person I am today.

The DoD STARBASE Academy, an outstanding program that provides elementary students the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) using a curriculum specially designed to immerse them in hands-on experiences and teaching, could have the same effect on our young students.

Carl Sagan, a famous astronomer, said it best – “I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.”

Developing a desire to learn about space, science, and math at early ages will broaden understanding for future generations.  Whether uncovering math mysteries, examining hair and DNA, Newton’s Laws of Motion, building models of molecules, covering chemistry, Bernoulli’s Principle, or conducting a geocaching activity, DoD STARBASE Academy students learn the value of design thinking and team building.  The program also builds confidence with technology through problem solving.  I experienced firsthand the benefits DoD STARBASE Academy has on students during my March 2016 visit to the academy where we discussed space launch, thrust, and lift with the students.  Seeing the quality of instruction and the eagerness of the students to learn gave me confidence they will succeed as they move forward in their education.

The Department of Defense and U.S. Strategic Command are continually looking for young, eager STEM professionals to lead our workforce into the next generation and offer a variety of STEM scholarships, internships, and other programs such as STARBASE to advance education to the future leaders of our Nation. By investing in today’s youth, we create a better tomorrow.

At U.S. Strategic Command, peace is our profession.  To keep peace, we must be ready for global conflict that extends into any domain.  We do that by building on the tremendous legacy of those who have come before us and by investing in the future.  We have a responsibility to our youth to inspire and cultivate innovative and strategic thinkers.  STARBASE is an opportunity that will continue to challenge students to reach new heights.  We will all reap the benefits of this program because, as American businessman Harvey S. Firestone said, “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.”



Commander, U.S. Strategic Command


Posted September 2017