BOISE, Idaho — A Boise native who used to deliver the daily paper as a teen will now lead a team of 2,500 personnel at the United States Space Force's first garrison.
On Thursday, March 25, Col. James Smith of Boise was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the rank of brigadier general, according to the Air Force.
Col. Smith is a 23-year veteran of the Air Force and joined soon after graduating from Meridian High School.
"It would have been hard to imagine this milestone as I left Boise in 1991 to become a cadet at the Air Force Academy," he said in a statement. "More importantly, I can't imagine a more exciting time to have the opportunity to serve. We're building a new service - a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
With the new rank, Smith is now the Commander of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. The garrison is the first field command for the Space Force and he will lead a team of 2,500 members which provides support for 18,400 personnel at 22 locations across the globe.
In a statement, Smith reminisced about his time working for the Idaho Statesman.
"As a matter of fact, I was actually a paper boy for the Idaho Statesman during my high school years," he said. "I can honestly attribute success in the Air and Space Force to the discipline that job taught me."
Smith added that he didn't know what awaited him ahead when he left Boise but that he's had "incredible opportunities" with the Air Force.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve my country," he said. "Thank you to all of my family and friends, colleagues and mentors, teachers who have played a role in my journey."