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Army Secretary Says Astronaut's Army Values Inspire Others

An astronaut gets help putting on a spacesuit.
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio
NASA astronaut Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio gets help putting on a spacesuit at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to train for spacewalks.
Photo By: James Blair, NASA
VIRIN: 220307-D-D0439-001Y

Army Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio, an astronaut, orbited Earth for 371 days, setting a U.S. record for the most days in space on a single spaceflight. 

Close up of an Army aviation badge featuring wings, a star and a space emblem.
Army Astronaut Device
The Army Aviation Badge with astronaut device is on display prior to a Pentagon ceremony where the Secretary of the Army, Christine E. Wormuth, will award it to Army Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio, Feb. 22, 2024.
Photo By: Army Sgt. Deonte Rowell
VIRIN: 230222-A-TG877-1001Y
Rubio "is a stellar example of the Army's core values and what it means to lead a life of service," said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, who presented him with the Army Astronaut Device during a pinning ceremony at the Pentagon today.  

Those core values, she said, include leadership, team building and resilience. All values that have served him well on Earth and in space. 

There are only two other active-duty soldiers who have this device today, she noted. 

"Col. Rubio has a powerful U.S. Army story to tell, how his experiences in the Army developed him into the leader he is today and how he has managed to maintain strong relationships with his family that weathered deployments everywhere on Earth, as well as in space," she said. 

A solider stands at a lectern adorned with a DOD seal in front of flags on a stage.
Army Astronaut
Army Col. Frank Rubio, an astronaut, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Feb. 22, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Cesar J. Navarro, DOD
VIRIN: 240222-F-GD090-1304
A civilian and a soldier smile while jointly holding up a certificate.
Astronaut Award
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth awards astronaut Col. Frank Rubio with the Army Astronaut Device at the Pentagon, Feb. 22, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Cesar Navarro, DOD
VIRIN: 240222-F-GD090-1142

Among the places he deployed to were Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. During those deployments, he logged over 600 combat flight hours piloting his Black Hawk helicopter, she said. 

A person signs an astronaut display.
Army Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio
NASA astronaut Army Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio signs a command astronaut display during a visit to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Dec. 13, 2023.
Photo By: Ronald Bailey, Army
VIRIN: 231213-A-ZT466-2361Y
Besides being an astronaut, Rubio is also a medical doctor and has worked in a number of Army medical treatment facilities, Wormuth said. 

Rubio said what he did was a team accomplishment — the teams being the Army and NASA, as well as his wife and four children. 

Of his family, Rubio said, "Without them and the support that I get from them, none of this would have been possible." He also thanked the NASA team who provided him with outstanding training. 

Young soldiers today have great opportunities to make incredible achievements, he said. 

Rubio's 371 days started Sept. 21, 2022, when he left Earth on the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. 

An astronaut does a spacewalk in Earth’s orbit.
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio
NASA astronaut Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Frank Rubio completes a spacewalk tethered to the International Space Station’s starboard truss structure, Nov. 15, 2022.
Photo By: NASA
VIRIN: 221115-A-AB123-812Y
An astronaut waves as they are carried by a few people wearing masks.
Soyuz Landing
NASA astronaut and Army Lt. Col. Frank Rubio is helped out of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft just minutes after it landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Sept. 27, 2023. At 371 days in space, the mission is the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut in history.
Photo By: Bill Ingalls, NASA
VIRIN: 230927-A-AB123-9271Y
On Sept. 27, he landed back on Earth, having traveled 157,412,306 statute miles. During his time in space, he saw the arrival of 15 visiting space vehicles to the space station, and he conducted three spacewalks that totaled 21 hours, 24 minutes.


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