One Guardian: Opportunity Leads A Soldier To Space

  • Published
  • By Mr. Matt Ebarb

U.S. Space Force Major Julius Lee carries more than just the notes and instructions he needs daily in his Green Book. Within its pages lies an early service photo of his father – the man who inspired the journey he is on today. 

Little did Lee, or his father and grandfather who served before him, know the pioneering twist this third generation servicemember’s path would take. 

“Being raised in the Army as a dependent and serving in the Army for nearly 14 years, I will always be a Soldier in some way, shape or form; or as they say in the Army, a Soldier for life.” said Lee, who began his Army career in December 2008 after graduating from the University of South Carolina at Aiken and commissioning out of Augusta University. 

After a decade-and-a-half in green and carrying on the family’s legacy, the birth of the United States Space Force opened a new world of possibilities for Lee. However, the decision took a couple of years, and a few wise words from a mentor, to come to fruition. 
“It was one of my Army mentors who had attended Air War College, who convinced me that I should apply to the Space Force. After deep thought, realizing that I had a passion for Space, and wanting to be at the “tip of the spear” in space operations, I saw no better option than applying to the Space Force,” said Lee. “Also, I thought ‘how great it would be to have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve in a brand-new military service and to have a chance to make enduring change’.” 

Lee officially transferred to the Space Force in September of 2022 as a space operations officer and was assigned to U.S. Space Command. 

Being a representative of the newest branch of service, Lee also had the chance to introduce other service members to the Guardian identity. He got this opportunity when attending the Joint Combined Warfighting School in Norfolk, Virginia. In addition to accomplishing a personal goal, Lee got to be the first uniformed Guardian many service members and civilians interacted with.  

“That made me walk a little prouder and a little more carefully as I realized for many people, their first impression of the Space Force would be me,” said Lee. “It was an honor to represent our service in this course, and I hope that we will send even more Guardians to it in the future so that one day it will be common to see Space Blues in that part of the country.” 

In the time since, Lee has served with U.S. Space Command, completing an assignment in the Future Operations Division of the Global Space Operations Directorate as the Deputy Branch Chief of the Campaigns Branch. Additionally, he worked with the Missile Warning Center and Combined Joint Task Force Space Operations. 

Currently, Lee serves as the executive officer for U.S. Space Command’s Directorate for Digital Superiority. As he looks toward his own future in a new uniform, people are still the driving force of his journey to help the Space Force and Department of Defense grow and evolve into the future. 

“In the rank and file of the military, in its day-to-day, it is easy to forget that we are more than the last name on our name tape. Each and every person is a human being who deserves to be respected, and valued, and to be given every opportunity to succeed and make a contribution to the mission,” said Lee.  
“My previous experience taught me to never underestimate our people in uniform, because they can and will do amazing and sometimes, even miraculous feats.” 

Lee continues the legacy of inspiration to serve in the military, only now with an emphasis in Space. His legacy as a soldier continues to guide him, as he says his desire is to bring his Army culture to the space force in a balanced way.