Tribute to heritage and service

Aircraftwoman San (Sanghee) Yoo, a Korean descendant and now proud member of the RAAF, immigrated from Korea in 2006 and since then has built a life and career in Australia.

CAPTION25 Squadron personnel capability specialist Aircraftwoman San Yoo in front of 25 Squadron Headquarters, at RAAF Base Pearce, WA. Story by Flight Lieutenant Steffi Blavius. Photo by Flying Officer Michael Thomas.

Born in 1983 in Seoul, Korea, Aircraftwoman Yoo studied a Bachelor of Business Administration before immigrating to Australia where she then completed a Master’s of Business in Strategic Advertising.

With a decade-long career in marketing, Aircraftwoman Yoo’s career took a new direction when she joined the Air Force in July 2022 as a personnel capability specialist.

After completing training at 1 Recruit Training Unit and then RAAF School of Administration and Logistics Training, Aircraftwoman Yoo was posted across the country to 25 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce in November that year.

Since posting to 25 Squadron, Aircraftwoman Yoo has deployed on Exercise Black Hole Sun, but it was having the opportunity to be part of the catafalque party at the opening of the Perth Korean War Memorial in July that held special significance for her.

“As a Korean descendant, I was grateful to be given the opportunity as an aviator to thank those Australians who committed to supporting the Korean War,” Aircraftwoman Yoo said.

A personal connection deepened the meaning of the memorial for Aircraftwoman Yoo.

“Both of my grandfathers served: my father’s side served in the Navy as a surgeon, and my mother’s side served as an Army officer,” she said.

“When I stood at present arms during both the Korean and Australian national anthems, I felt deeply touched and privileged.”

Aircraftwoman Yoo’s two-fold identity as a Korean immigrant and a member of the ADF was encapsulated in that moment of unity and reflection.


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