The U.S. Naval Academy is a four-year military service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the Naval service. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. In addition to a rigorous academic program, they also study subjects like leadership, ethics, small arms, military drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering, weapons and military law. Midshipmen also train at naval bases and on ships in the fleet every summer. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and will go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
Navy Ensign Bogaard said during his time at the Academy, “my perspective (on life) changed.” Boogard also ran track all four years. Navy Ensign left Friday, June 20 to fly back to Annapolis, Maryland. From there he will drive to Pensacola, Florida where he will begin flight training as his ultimate goal is to be a pilot for the Navy.
While in some sense it seems these young men got their college educations for free, in reality it is not without some cost. The cost is paid back with time. Second Lieutenant Zwank will serve as an active member of the Army for five years followed by three in the reserves. Navy Ensign Bogaard will serve a total of seven years, with two of those being in Aviation training.
Both young men had some words of wisdom for high schoolers today that came out of the time they spent at their respective academies. Zwank said, “Don’t let difficulty deter you. Reframe your view of failure.” Bogaard said, “Don’t sweat the little things. If you focus on the things you can affect you have a lot to worry about anyway without focusing on things you cannot affect.”