Viera High School graduate earns coveted Air Force opportunity


Julian Lawson recently was accepted as a Cyberspace Operations Officer in the United States Air Force.

Courtesy of Sam and Julian Lawson

Growing up on the Space Coast offers rare opportunities to experience breathtaking rockets, to see the science of the Kennedy Space Center firsthand, and to get inspired by the hardworking men and women at Patrick Air Force Base.

One local Viera resident, Julian Lawson, 22, took the inspiration of the Space Coast to heart. He recently was accepted as a Cyberspace Operations Officer into the United States Air Force.

Lawson graduated from Viera High School in 2015. Since then, he has pursued a career in the USAF.

“My dad’s background was information technology,” Lawson said. “Based on my dad’s background alone and the coming future of technology, that’s where I wanted to go and that’s what put me into the IT field. At the same time, going into ROTC (with my degree) they selected my job based on my degree.”

Lawson’s father, Sam Lawson, used to be a telecommunications manager at Kennedy Space Center.

He inspired his son to follow him in the same field.

Lawson originally wanted to be a pilot in the USAF. Poor eyesight prevented him from realizing that dream since he would have needed expensive Lasik surgery.

After graduating from high school, his father advised him to take an officer’s route into the military. That was through a college education and ROTC. Lawson attended Florida A&M University and he was dual-enrolled in the ROTC program at Florida State University.

Currently, Lawson is waiting for orders to begin his officer training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“I feel really good about (his officer’s commission), and I hope that he’s up to the task, as far as being a military officer,” Sam Lawson said. “That’s a tall order for anyone. I recall that when I went to his formal dinner, we had a three-star general that was there. He spoke to all the parents. (He said) not to worry about it. ‘Your kid’s going to be all right. Don’t worry. They’re going to be fine — just rest.’ After he gave that speech, I felt much better. I think he’s gonna be all right.”