Making Their Way to the Military

Spotlight on graduates going to serve the nation

May is National Military Appreciation Month, and we appreciate the military in many ways. One way to appreciate the men and women who serve our nation is to follow their example, and that is what several graduates are going to do as they go into prestigious military academies.

Seniors Joey Moore and Jared Johnson are going to military academies. Moore is going to West Point, the oldest continuously occupied military post in America. It is located in New York overlooking the Hudson River. Notable alumni of this prestigious institute include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Buzz Aldrin. Moore is excited to be added to that list.

“I’m looking forward to it, Moore said. “I’ll have a completely unique college experience that will definitely be rewarding in the long run.”

Getting into a military academy is not an easy feat, so getting in is pretty impressive.

“I had to have good grades, SAT [scores], and leadership,” Moore explained. “I also had to pass a medical and eye exam and do well on a fitness test. The hardest part was probably being chosen for a congressional nomination in Virginia which is by far the most competitive state for service academies.”

Haiss said a similar thing for getting into the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). He eventually decided to attend Hampden-Sydney College for football and a bachelors’ degree, but he is honored to have been nominated and accepted to USMMA.

“I felt proud of myself because it’s a pretty big deal, and USMMA was a stretch for me, so getting in was exciting,” Haiss said.

Johnson was also accepted into USMMA and plans to attend.

“I am excited to explore the next phase of my life. I am looking forward to playing baseball for USMMA and voyaging aboard to the sea year travel that is part of my curriculum,” Johnson said.

Many people have a role model in their life that they can look up to. For Moore, it was his grandfather.

“I look up to my Grandpa the most because he served in the military for 40 years and dedicated his whole life to service. He has also helped motivate me and keep me going on my journey to going to West Point,” Moore said.

Along with his grandfather, several of Moore’s other relatives have served and inspired Moore to follow in their footsteps. Moore also has a personal strive to fight for our country.

“I want to serve because I want to do whatever I can for our country and community,” Moore said.

Moore is excited to meet all the new people at West Point and live through new, exciting experiences. What did he say the most the most difficult thing about this new adventure will be?

“I’m probably most nervous for waking up early every morning and not having my phone for 6 weeks over the summer,” Moore said, referencing basic training in the summer months.