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Face of Defense: Airman Bucks Family’s Army Tradition

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2010 – When Capt. Karoline Scott decided to join the Air Force, she knew she’d be stepping into a long line of military tradition.

She also knew she’d be the sole blue uniform in her family’s sea of Army green.

“I certainly respect my family for going into the Army,” said Scott, a Lorton, Va., native. “I just wanted to do something a little different.”

Scott is the only airman in her family, which can trace its active-duty Army service back more than 130 years. Her father, Bruce Scott, retired as a major general, and her five brothers and sisters all followed in his Army footsteps.

While proud of her family’s Army roots, Scott said, she wanted to take a different route.

Both of her older siblings had gone to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. “I knew that had been a great experience for them,” she added, “but I wanted to do my own thing. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I'm very proud to wear Air Force blue.”

Scott attended St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. “When she entered, she was quiet and shy,” her father said. “When she graduated, she did so magna cum laude, elected into Phi Beta Kappa, and she was the ranking Air Force cadet in all of Philadelphia.”

Scott is now serving on her first deployment as a public affairs officer assigned to U.S. Forces Iraq in Baghdad.

“I was inspired to choose this career field because I get to help tell the Air Force story,” she said. “I am able to interact with a wide range of folks in a number of different career fields. I learn something new every single day.

“The people I've met in my Air Force career have also been amazing -- truly the best and brightest in the country,” she added.

When home, Scott said, she’s jokingly referred to as the “blue sheep” of the family. “My father reminds me frequently that the Air Force used to be the Army Air Corps,” she said.

Joking aside, Scott is proud of her family’s military roots. “Our family history of military service was certainly a huge inspiration,” she said. “Growing up as an Army ‘brat’ and watching my older siblings go into the military showed me the benefits of joining the military.

“The deciding factor for me, however, was my strong desire to do something that served a purpose greater than myself,” she continued. “It is not exaggeration to say that I am proud to put on my uniform every day.”

Scott said her friends often are surprised when they find out about her family’s extensive military history.

“Some jokingly say that the military is the Scott family business,” she said. “Most people think it is wonderful and say, ‘Your parents must be so proud.’ I know my parents are proud of all of us – what could be better than that?”

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Special Report: Family Tradition

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