Soldier from Salt Lake City hand-picked to join Space Force

Staff Sgt. Paul Daw, a 6-year veteran of the U.S. Army, will join the U.S. Space Force as a future “guardian.”

(U.S. Army) Staff Sgt. Paul Daw, from Salt Lake City, poses with his wife, Christine, and their two children. Daw has been hand-picked from more than 3,000 applicants to join the U.S. Space Force.

A soldier from Salt Lake City is taking his military career to space, or at least to the new United States Space Force, according to an announcement from the U.S. Army.

Staff Sgt. Paul Daw, a geospatial engineer currently stationed with the Army’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, was picked from several thousand applications to join the military’s newest branch of service.

“I’ll be doing intelligence work based on satellite imagery collections,” said Daw, according to a news release. Daw said his job with the Space Force will provide “tactical identification from space platforms.”

The Space Force was created in Dec. 2019 by then President Donald Trump and is organized under the U.S. Air Force. It has the mission to “design, acquire, field, test, operate and defend the critical space systems the nation, and the world, rely upon.” Members of the new military branch are called “guardians.”

In a May 2020 transfer memo addressed to future guardians, the Space Force told applicants from other branches of the military, that, if selected, they’d be charged with helping the United States “maintain space superiority ... while operating the most advanced capabilities in the world.”

“Individually chosen, you will be one of a lean group of elite experts in space, intelligence, engineering, acquisition and cyberspace operations — high technical specialties that are critical to mission success in our domain,” the letter adds.

Before joining the Army in 2015, Daw worked as national parks firefighter and at the Utah Department of Natural Resources. He was selected from a pool of more than 3,000 candidates, according to the Army.

“I take a lot of pride in all the things I’ve done for the Army and the things I did in my civilian education,” said Daw, who also has a graduate certificate in geographic information systems. “It’s really paid off.”