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The original item was published from 4/21/2023 7:37:39 AM to 5/20/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: April 21, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Coming full circle: Former STARBASE student now a STARBASE volunteer

Capt. Joshua Anderson

Capt. Joshua Anderson wanted a military career ever since he was a boy. That desire intensified when he was a fifth-grade student and took part in the Salina STARBASE program.

“I remember learning about Bernoulli and his principles, building and launching rockets,” said Anderson, “and the best part was taking a tour of the Black Hawk helicopters at the Army Aviation Support Facility.”

STARBASE is a Department of Defense program designed to encourage fifth grade students to explore opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through hands-on activities. The Salina program is one of five in Kansas.

“It was this tour that solidified my desire to become a Soldier,” said Anderson.

Today, Anderson is commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment and a supervisory instructor pilot at Army Aviation Flight Facility in Salina. He is also a volunteer for the same STARBASE program he attended as a fifth grader, sharing the lessons he learned with a new generation of STARBASE students.

Anderson fulfilled his youthful ambition to become a Soldier in September 2011 when he joined the Kansas Army National Guard.

“When it was time to choose a branch, I knew exactly what I wanted to be -- a pilot,” said Anderson. “I recalled how I felt sitting in that UH60L Black Hawk and wanted to fly it for real. I tell all the STARBASE tours that come through my facility that I really was recruited into the Army at 11 years old.”

Anderson attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, graduating in 2016 and, soon after, his life came back full circle.

“I got an Active Guard and Reserve job at the same flight facility that I toured as a fifth grader,” said Anderson.

Anderson deployed as detachment commander with his unit in 2018 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, where he flew over 100 sorties and 250 combat hours. And it all came about because a young boy got to sit in a helicopter as a STARBASE student.

“I have seen some amazing things in the world and proudly served my country as a combat leader,” said Anderson. “I truly believe it is because of programs like STARBASE that I became a Soldier.”

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