Filling the Boots

Nixa students consider joining the military after high school


Provided by Madelyn Morris

“I’m truly happy and excited to be joining the military, I can’t wait for the experience I’m going to gain, the people I will, and the honor and pride I will bring to my family,” Morris said.

With graduation just around the corner, some seniors are choosing to enlist into the military.
A benefit of joining any branch of the U.S. military is the G.I. bill, which covers all student payments for public colleges. Senior Allen McNeal plans to utilize this benefit.
“I am going into the military to serve my country and to get free education in the fields of engineering and cyber security,” McNeal said. “I plan on going to officer’s basic training between my sophomore and junior years of college.”
McNeal wants to join the Air Force branch, but is unsure if he wants to continue the military after his four years.
“I want to pursue a career in engineering or cyber security in the Air Force,” McNeal said. “I will serve for four years, and then decide whether or not I want it to be a career. If I do leave the military, I would like to work in government cyber security, or own my own engineering solutions development firm after the military.”
Some high school graduates go into the military at the suggestions of a family member of theirs that served — this is why Senior Madelyn Morris wants to serve.
“The military had many benefits like financial, traveling and experience,” Morris said. “Many of my family members have served in the military so I am also holding the tradition.”
The number of opportunities the military offers is a big appeal to Morris.
“The military has so much more to offer than any regular job could,” Morris said. “You can meet many interesting people along the way. There are jobs in the military that you could not get anywhere else and the military is there to serve and protect the people of America.”
Morris is going into the Navy because of her love of maritime environments.
“The Navy to me is a very interesting branch,” Morris said. “They’re around boats and the water more than anything, both of which I absolutely love. The Navy also gets to travel quite a bit and the financial benefits that come with joining the Navy are great.”
Morris already has her contract with the Navy set up for after high school.
“My ship date for basic is Aug. 10 and it’s an eight-year contract,” Morris said. “The job that I have chosen and been given is called HM, this stands for hospital corpsmen — basically a medic. The end goal for me is to be a cardiologist.”
Senior Aiden Ewald is holding out on the possibility of a scholarship before any final decisions are made.
“If I get the AFROTC or ROTC scholarship I’ll go into the Air Force, but if those don’t pan out, I will be joining the Navy,” Ewald said. “If I go through the Navy, I will ship on July 28.”
Regardless of what branch Ewald gets into, he knows the job he wants.
“[I would want to be] either a nuclear engineer in the Navy, or a chemical engineer in the Air Force,” Ewald said. “The Navy has a nuclear program which I have already been slotted in for, so it’s secure and the ability to explore is there.”