When it comes to great environments to learn in, the United States Air Force Academy and a soccer national team would definitely qualify. For Jillian Jamero, the person and player that she is today has been molded by her time at the Air Force Academy and with the Philippine national team.
With her grandparents on both sides of her family immigrating to the United States from the Philippines, Jamero is eligible to represent the Philippine national team. She has multiple caps for the country and feels that has helped her grow as a player and also as a person. “It allowed me to play soccer on an international level as well as learn more about my culture,” Jamero told BGN. “Since I am Filipino, I was scouted and invited to camps. Then I got selected to go to the Philippines to play for the full National team. It was an eye-opening experience that molded me into the player/person I am today.”
That individual growth obviously continued for Jamero at the Air Force Academy. Now, as a senior, Jillian is able to look back on her time thus far at the AFA. Listing her favorite memories, she said, “My favorite memory with the soccer team is beating Army 3-0! Outside of soccer, my favorite memory is job drops!”
“My friends and I all got the jobs we wanted (I am going to be an Acquisitions officer) and were able to celebrate each other’s hard work.”
We love seeing these smiles!😄 Job drop day finally arrived for our seniors! Congratulations Dani (Acquisitions), Alex (Logistics), Britt (Pilot), Emma (Health Services Administration), and Jill (Acquisitions). We are so proud of you! #LeadersOfCharacter 💙🇺🇸✈️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/73e0ZK9vyh
— Air Force Women's Soccer (@AF_WSOC) January 16, 2021
While she’s made all these great memories and will proudly serve our country, she wasn’t immediately sold on attending the AFA. She recalled, “I was not initially interested in joining the Air Force, but when I was recruited as a freshman, I learned more about the opportunities at USAFA. Once I learned about the mission, I was compelled to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
Before she takes on those bigger responsibilities off the pitch, Jamero will get to play out the final fives matches of the regular season for the Air Force Academy and look to add to her career totals of eight goals and four assists.
Air Force has started the NCAA season with a 1-3 record, but Jillian is appreciative of the chance to get back to playing the sport she loves after a lengthy layoff due to COVID-19. She said, “While dealing with Covid, it has been amazing being able to compete and work toward a common goal. It has brought the team closer being able to hang out with my best friends every day.”
But, don’t think for a second that Jamero and the team are just happy to be out there and not focused on getting results. They will look to close the season out strong, beginning with tomorrow’s match at Colorado State. “In order to have a successful run, the team needs to come together and work for each other,” Jamero stated. “It is important for the girls to take the lessons learned, internalize it, and move forward.”
Whether it’s on the pitch or off the pitch, Jillian Jamero will definitely have countless lessons to take with her from her time with the Air Force Academy and the Philippine national team.