Navy Veteran Jonny Kim is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Jonny Kim, who served as a SEAL in Iraq, graduated medical school and is a NASA astronaut candidate.

Jonny Kim was born in Los Angeles, California in 1984. Kim enlisted in the Navy following his graduation from Santa Monica High School. He set his sights on becoming a Navy SEAL and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.

Kim served as a special warfare operator to SEAL Team 3 in San Diego, California. He served as a combat medic and sniper on more than 100 combat operations consisting of two deployments to the Middle East. In 2009, Kim enrolled at the University of San Diego through the Navy’s commissioning program. In 2012, Kim graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Kim graduated knowing he would pursue medical school. Kim traced his interest in becoming a doctor to his experiences serving as a combat medic in Ramadi, Iraq. Two close friends were shot and eventually died. However, Kim treated one friend in the field. He received his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. In year one of a four-year residency as a resident physician in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, NASA selected him to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

Kim reported for duty in August 2017 to begin two years of training as an astronaut candidate. Upon completion, Kim started technical duties in the astronaut office while he awaits a flight assignment.

Kim’s military decorations include a Silver Star Medal, a Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” a Special Operations Medical Association 2006 Naval Special Warfare Medic of the Year, 2012 Tillman Scholar and various other service awards.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Editor: Michelle Cannon

Fact checker: Alishahal Macknojia

Graphic artist: Sarah Kowalewski 

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Published on Nov. 29, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 632


  1. Senior Veterans Care Network December 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you for your service – Jonny Kim

  2. Sheryl Grumney November 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Congratulations! Thank you for your service!

  3. Christopher G. Allen November 30, 2019 at 11:23 am

    I am so impressed with Mr. Kim’s ambition and accomplishments. What a role model he is for the younger generation. I hope his story is shared throughout the school system. He was a most excellent choice for Veteran of the Day.

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