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To Serve or Not to Serve: Students Consider Military Careers

How Skutt Catholic prepares and inspires students to join the military

A+framed+photograph+of+Mr.+Patrick+Haney%27s+graduating+class+at+the+Naval+Academy.
A framed photograph of Mr. Patrick Haney's graduating class at the Naval Academy.

A framed photograph of Mr. Patrick Haney's graduating class at the Naval Academy.

Photo by Natalie Pearson

Photo by Natalie Pearson

A framed photograph of Mr. Patrick Haney's graduating class at the Naval Academy.

Natalie Pearson, Staff Reporter

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As Skutt Catholic students settle into their new routines, they are focusing on classes, friends, and the occasional extracurricular activity. But soon the seniors’ thoughts will turn to college questions; ‘What am I going to do after graduation?’ Will it be UNL, will it be Berkeley, Steubenville, or Creighton?

In addition to college, there is another career path that thousands of young men and women choose each year. Many will enlist in the military, and a select few will aim to secure a coveted spot at one of the five elite service academies. Junior Tom Hawley is one of them. “I feel that I should serve my country because of what it has given me,” Hawley said. “Not everyone has the opportunities we do, especially in third world countries. I also feel I need to join to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” Hawley continued.

Not all students share this view, though. “It’s not what I’m passionate about,” said sophomore Anna Pappas. “It’s not my ideal thing—like, they say ‘Do what you love and follow your passion’ and that’s just not it,” Pappas explained.

Not everyone has the opportunities we do, especially in third world countries. I also feel I need to join to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

— Tom Hawley

Although some students may not agree, Skutt Catholic has prepared us for military life: regardless of whether we choose that route or not. “You may not think about it, but for example—wearing a belt, four inches on your skirt. If you’re in an extracurricular activity: you need to be here at 7:20 because we’re going to Mass,” said Mr. Patrick Haney. “We rarely have a regular week—that’s very common, not only in the military but in the service academy, too. So Skutt is a wonderful experience that you won’t realize until you get there,” Haney continued.

Mr. Haney graduated from the United States Naval Academy as a commissioned officer. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy for 12 years before he came to Skutt Catholic.

The process for admission into the service academy is tedious, and nothing like a regular college application. First, a prospective student must submit a preliminary application, apply for (and acquire) a nomination from your local Congressman, Senator, or the Vice President, and submit your SAT or ACT scores. If you are chosen you will get a notification of candidacy in a candidate information letter.

The school counselor then mails transcripts to the service academy of choice. There will be a medical examination, Candidate Fitness Assessment, and finally an interview with a Military Academy Liaison Officer, Academy Liaison Officer, or Blue and Gold Officer (for West Point, USAFA, and USNA, respectively).

Only then will there be a final selection and deadlines to meet. This all takes place from April of a student’s junior year to March of their senior year, ideally. By July 1, if selected, students will be entering the service academy. In exchange for a four-year education, candidates serve a minimum of five years on active duty.

Notable service member graduates from Skutt Catholic include Maddie Jarosik who went into ROTC, Jarrett Damewood who is attending the Air Force Academy and Ben Eliason who enlisted in the military academy.

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Natalie Pearson - Staff Reporter

Natalie became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a sophomore this year involved in band at Skutt Catholic and enjoys playing video games outside of school. You can email her at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “To Serve or Not to Serve: Students Consider Military Careers”

  1. James Pearson on September 13th, 2017 8:08 am

    What a great article , there is hardly anything more noble than to serve this great country by enlisting in the military as an officer or enlisted.

    Men and women lay down their lives every year , many who are just starting their adult lives , enlisting right after graduating high school.

    I salute any who make this choice , and hold them in high regard forever. God Bless them and their families!

    James Pearson
    USN 1982-1986 E-5
    USS Saratoga CV-60 , NAS Miramar , San Diego

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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