Jonny Kim will be the first Korean American to join a NASA mission in space. Kim, 35, has also served as a U.S. Navy SEAL and is a Harvard-trained physician.
As a special operator with SEAL Team 3, Charlie Platoon, Kim served in a number of roles, including combat medic, sniper, and navigator. During more than 100 combat missions, he earned a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Valor.
Kim is the child of South Korean immigrants who arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, where he was born. He told the Harvard Gazette that he joined the Navy to handle self-confidence issues.
“I needed to find myself and my identity… for me, getting out of my comfort zone, getting away from the people I grew up with, and finding adventure, that was my odyssey, and it was the best decision I ever made.”