Engineering of a future, Sarah Markosky takes up the challenge of pilot training

Sarah Markosky grew up in Pennsylvania as a sport-loving coal country kid who had never considered the military – until one fateful night her Air Force officer brother took her to an official ball which changed her life and brought her to USC.

“The opening speech that night changed me in one way or another,” she said. “I started to see the Air Force as a way to have a global impact, a goal. It’s hard to find at a young age, and the opportunities to travel on the full scholarship – I couldn’t pass up.

She attended USC on a scholarship and spent four years as part of the 60th Cadet Wing ROTC, sometimes referred to as the Trojan aviators. The nickname is misleading, as nearly half of the 105 cadets are women.

“Every woman is capable of doing anything in the Air Force, but a lot of women feel intimidated because it’s a male dominated field,” Markosky said. “We’re moving towards more women becoming pilots, and I’m excited about that. I am making a 10 year commitment. This is something that all of us – women and men – take into consideration because it affects when we might start a family. I have spoken to many women in the Air Force who have told me about life and career balance.

USC graduate Sarah Markosky learns to embrace the uncontrollable

Markosky commissioned on May 15 and made his debut at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum days later to celebrate his degree in industrial and systems engineering. Her parents are both engineers, career choices born out of practicality for a pair of high school lovers.

“They both had other interests, but they had to jump into their careers,” Markosky said. “They grew up loving it, and they run their own business.”

Despite an academic and professional background with good long-term employment prospects, aligned with success in the decades to come, Markosky does not necessarily see herself as a planner.

“If you’re planning you’re disappointed a lot, so I’m embracing what’s out of control,” she said. “I can be displaced in my job and I can lose a place as a pilot. There are so many factors that I can’t control. What I’m in control is getting a pilot job, doing my best and seeing where it takes me. “

More stories on: Beginning of 2021, Military, Students

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