The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Seniors take unique military path into college

Photo Contributed
Senior Aiden Murray goes through intense training in order to prepare himself for the rigors of military education.

In a 2020 Qualified Military Available (QMA) Study, it was reported that the proportion of youth eligible for military service without a waiver is 23%, and an even smaller fraction of this percentage are even willing to serve. This makes seniors Aiden Murray and Audrey Annee, who plan on joining the military, part of this minority. Though they both have a common goal of joining the military, Murray and Annee are taking different paths. 

Even though it is not a popular path among teenagers today, being a marine has been a longtime dream for Murray, and he has taken the necessary steps to prepare himself.

“I was interested in the marines for about seven years mainly because no one has ever gone there in my family so I was going to be the first one,” Murray said. “Everyone in my family has either gone into the National Guard or Air Force. Here, at Center Grove, they didn’t have ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), so I did the fire program because it’s the closest thing they had. The marines are known as ‘grunts,’ most of them are. It’s not just anything. It’s a title. You have to earn it. It’s very mentally and physically demanding, which is what I loved about it also.” 

Since Murray will be the first one in his family to join the Marine Corps, he had to look for other role models.

“Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey was one of the most known and inspiring marines there is,” Murray said. “He was in Full Metal Jacket. The first time I saw Full Metal Jacket, I did my research on marines, and I learned a lot more about it and ever since then I’ve wanted to go into it.”

However, Annee is taking a less traditional route.

“I’m going to West Point, which is four years of basically training to get into the military, so when I graduate, I’ll be a Second Lieutenant,” Annee said. “I want to be a trauma surgeon once I graduate.”

West Point’s mission is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.” Even though Annee had family members in the military, it was never something she considered until doing more research.

“My uncle was in the marines and when I was younger, he used to tell us all the stories about it, and that’s when I first learned about the military,” Annee said. “When I first started talking to the army, I wasn’t really interested or didn’t know anything about it, but the more I learned about it, I saw all of the benefits and opportunities that came with it.” 

The military is known for being very physically challenging. Both Murray and Annee have been training for the CFA (Certified Fitness Assessment), which is part of the rigorous admissions process. 

“I did a lot of push ups every day, and I still do that every day,” Murray said. “I at least try to do 100. Besides that, running was the most important part to me. So I started running marathons and sometimes just 10 miles or so.”

However, there is also an academic aspect that plays a part in a recruit’s success in the military.

“I took it seriously freshman year,” Murray said. “I started getting my grades up. So, grade-wise I prepared, and fitness, I also prepared, that’s why I wanted to go in the fire class in the first place and just because I wanted to be in the marines so badly.”

Since serving the country has become less and less popular, making the final decision to join the military for Annee, like any career-related decision, was not an easy choice.

“It was hard to make the final decision of going because I didn’t really have anyone to compare the pros and cons of it with but my support system has helped me with my decision.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Julia Lucas
Junior Julia Lucas is a first year staff member. In publications, she mainly writes student and sports features for the website. Lucas is part of the cross country and track team and loves watching movies and making art.

Comments (0)

All Trojaneer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *