Austin Brimm

Geography major
Air Force ROTC

Military service is a family tradition for senior Austin Brimm.

His great-grandfather was in the Navy and both grandfathers served; one with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II made famous by the Band of Brothers miniseries. But he followed most closely in his father’s footsteps. The elder Brimm, Glenn Brimm ’00, attended UofL and was a member of Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) before fulfilling his commitment to the military.

When Brimm was contemplating his own future, he knew the military was part of it. But just as important to him was earning a college degree. He found his fit at UofL where he joined the Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) detachment, eventually earning honors his junior year as a field training Distinguished Graduate – completing his summer field training in the top 10% of his 600-cadet class.

With plans to be a pilot when he commissions after graduation, he chose geography as a major, specializing in geotech so he could study satellite imagery, mapping, weather and other subjects that would benefit his Air Force career.

But some of his biggest life lessons from UofL have come outside of the classroom, through his engaged learning and service opportunities with AFROTC. Lessons like leadership, building connections and helping others.

“Teamwork is huge and learning how to build a good team is the most vital lesson I’ve learned,” he said. “The importance of fostering a climate where your people feel cared for cannot be overstated.”

The camaraderie of a team is at the core of military service and fuels UofL’s commitment to military-connected students, whether ROTC members, active duty or veterans. Robust support, including financial aid and scholarships, from the university-level, Brimm said, is essential in helping ROTC students succeed.

“It’s huge and the campus supports us quite a bit,” he said. “One of the biggest stressors in college is finances and the campus just helps cadets so much with that. I love the culture UofL fosters.”

Brimm has always wanted to be a helper, so he does what he can to pay that culture of support forward. He is a member of the Arnold Air Society, a smaller group within the AFROTC detachment that focuses on serving the community in a variety of ways, from making breakfast at a homeless shelter to tutoring elementary school students.

He takes his inspiration to serve from his family and other leaders who exemplify working hard behind the scenes to benefit a greater good.

“Taking care of people behind the lines, that is 100% what I strive for,” he said.

While still soaking in all the lessons his college experience can give him, as a military-connected student, Brimm already knows UofL and the AFROTC program helped him learn more about who he is and how he can continue to make an impact.

“In this program, you learn so much about yourself. All the courses you go through, the leadership development, the self-awareness courses are really like figuring out where your strengths and weaknesses are,” he said. “I’ve most certainly learned more about myself than I have in about any major I could have studied, and honestly that’s probably the best education you can get.”