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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Answering the Call to Command: Meet Three Military Academy Commits

Junior+Luke+Porter+and+senior+Mathias+Lee+committed+to+the+Naval+Academy%2C+and+junior+Abby+Miller+committed+to+the+Air+Force+Academy+to+pursue+their+passions+and+desire+to+serve+their+country.+%E2%80%9CIm+honestly+super+excited+to+work+in+the+military+after+graduating%2C%E2%80%9D+Miller+said.+%E2%80%9CI+know+that+might+be+a+weird+thing+to+say%2C+but+that+is+something+that+kind+of+drew+me+to+the+military+academies%3A+it%E2%80%99s+knowing+that+after+I+graduate%2C+I+have+a+job+for+at+least+five+years.+I+honestly+think+that+jobs+in+the+military+are+just+so+incredible%2C+and+theyre+so+honorable.+I+dont+really+want+an+office+job+and+being+in+the+military+is+definitely+kind+of+a+way+to+find+a+job+with+a+larger+purpose.%E2%80%9D%0A%0A
Courtesy of Chris Banks, Julia Gordon and Josiah Lee
Junior Luke Porter and senior Mathias Lee committed to the Naval Academy, and junior Abby Miller committed to the Air Force Academy to pursue their passions and desire to serve their country. “I’m honestly super excited to work in the military after graduating,” Miller said. “I know that might be a weird thing to say, but that is something that kind of drew me to the military academies: it’s knowing that after I graduate, I have a job for at least five years. I honestly think that jobs in the military are just so incredible, and they’re so honorable. I don’t really want an office job and being in the military is definitely kind of a way to find a job with a larger purpose.”

In a convergence of athleticism, patriotism and leadership, a trio embarks on a journey as they commit to prestigious military academies. Junior Luke Porter and senior Mathias Lee committed to the United States Naval Academy, and junior Abby Miller to the United States Air Force Academy (USAF). 

Porter will be playing Division 1 water polo for the Navy, a further pursuit of the sport he has played since the fourth grade. He said that the physicality and mental stamina that the sport offered appealed to him.

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is just having that team where everyone’s there for the same reason,” Porter said. “I think that’ll be the nicest thing about being in the Navy — I’ll be with guys who want to be there, who want to play just like I do, but also understand that there’s a higher purpose in life than just playing sports and playing college athletics.”

With both of his great grandfathers having served in World War II and his aunt having been in the Marines, Porter took inspiration from his family members and current Naval Academy students when considering his future. 

“When I got to go on my official visit is when I realized that this is what I want to do; this is how I want my life to be,” Porter said. “I got to spend time with some of the midshipmen that were already on the team and attending the academy, and one of the things that they talked about was having a purpose when you wake up every day. I found that that’s not something I really have here, but it’s something that I can find there.”

Miller committed to the USAF for Division 1 women’s swimming and hopes to major in aerospace or mechanical engineering. 

Miller was also surrounded by family members with a military background, including her dad who served in the Navy, her great grandfather who joined the Army and her grandfather who was in the 82nd Airborne Division. This connection made her extremely excited when she first received an email from the USAF swim coach on recruiting day and was a big motivation in her decision to swim there, according to Miller.

Going into USAF, Miller said she is excited to pursue her educational passions in a smaller classroom environment and looks forward to serving the eight years of mandatory service upon graduation from the Academy.

“I think it’s a mixture of emotions,” Miller said. “Right now, I’m just incredibly excited thinking about going; I can’t wait to go back to the Academy because I haven’t been in so long. And then it’s also a little bit nerve wracking just knowing that you have to balance being a cadet, being an athlete and being a student all at once. But I think those kinds of struggles are a lot smaller than the reward that you’re gonna get.”

Finally, with many academic and extracurricular achievements already under his belt, Lee said that he looks to his future at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) for a structured lifestyle that will continue to push him towards his goal of becoming a military officer.

Lee was awarded the selective Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship which offers Lee a full ride to the USNA; a perfect fit for Lee’s core values of leadership and strict self-improvement. Lee said he was inspired to apply to the scholarship during his junior year by a friend in the Naval Academy and his uncle in the Marine Corps.

As captain of the swim team and choir section leader, Lee said the Naval Academy appealed to him as a mode of applying his strengths in leadership towards self-improvement.

“With the military emphasizing values like honor, courage, commitment, leadership, sacrifice — all these things that I personally valued — I think regardless of what career field I end up going into within the military, I’ll be going in a positive direction that will continue to push me and help me grow,” Lee said.

 

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About the Contributors
Hannah Ko
Hannah Ko, Assistant Opinion Editor
Hannah Ko is the assistant Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. This year, she is looking forward to depriving herself from sleep and growing gray hairs from stressing about her classes. Outside of the classroom, you can most likely find her either sleeping, talking, listening to music or shopping.
Maya Tedini
Maya Tedini, Opinion Editor
Maya Tedini is the Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to working with the leadership team along with getting to know the new members of the Pilot. She’s excited to discover all the fascinating opinions of the wonderful staff and to continue to grow her strengths as a journalist. Outside of the newsroom, she’s most likely listening to music, that may or may not all be by Taylor Swift, at cheer practice or spending time with her sister.
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