Natchitoches native and LA Tech graduate becomes State’s first Space Force officer

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A Natchitoches student at Louisiana Tech University, Russell Stultz, was commissioned in the Space Force during the graduation ceremony May 21. Stultz is one of only nine people commissioned into the Space Force from among 600 applicants. From left are La. Tech University President Les Guice, Stultz and Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command and Commander, Air Forces Strategic-Air U.S. Strategic Command, Barksdale Air Force Base.

A Natchitoches student who graduated from Louisiana Tech University during the spring commencement May 21 has also become a cadet in a new and distinguished branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Russell Stults has become Louisiana’s first U.S. Space Force officer.
Stultz, 22, received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. But even more significant is that he was also commissioned an officer in the U.S. Space Force, one of only nine people selected from 600 candidates nationwide seeking to become Space Force cadets.

The 2022 Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and Science is held at 12:30 p.m. on May 21, in the Thomas Assembly Center. Photographs by Cloey Ashworth/Louisiana Tech University

According to an online article at spaceforce.mil, Air Force and Space Force are sister branches under the Dept. of the Air Force but are separate and distinct branch of the armed services. Space Force is responsible for organizing, training and equipping Guardians to conduct global space operations that enhance the way the country’s joint and coalition forces fight. It is a consolidation of space programs such as GPS satellites, missile warning systems Space Fence surveillance system and more.
Stultz is a native of Natchitoches and graduated from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in 2018. He is the son of Russell and Anne Stultz.
The 2022 Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and Science is held at 12:30 p.m. on May 21, in the Thomas Assembly Center. Photographs by Cloey Ashworth/Louisiana Tech University

“He graduated (from La. Tech) and the same day was commissioned into the Space Force, a military branch of the U.S. Air Force, ” says his mother, Anne Stultz. He will train at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. His future job will most likely include leading a team of Guardians to operate satellites according to information in a article about Stultz that appeared in the Ruston Daily Leader.
He was already in the Air Force ROTC program at La. Tech when Space Force was established. According to the Daily Leader article, Stultz said his father was a Navy Seal and his mother worked at NASA out of college. He believes Space Force was almost a combination of both his parents’ pathways into one. He also believes demands of his engineering major and ROTC duties helped him establish time management skills. In addition to his studies and ROTC, Stultz was a four-year member of the rugby team.
This article published in the June 2, 2022, print edition

According to the article in the Daily Leader, “The best part of the ceremony was when I walked on stage and they said, ‘Space Force’ for the first time. I heard from the crowd…confusion almost. That was my favorite part.”
To read more about the Space Force, visit spaceforce.mil