Jake Boyero, a senior at Olive Branch High School, knows what he wants and is ready to take on the world to get there. Or at least tackle the task of his time attending the U.S. Naval Academy to reach his goals.
Boyero has accomplished what few have achieved and most may shy away from; that of applying for and then receiving an appointment to attend the Annapolis, Md. service academy. He may be the first ever, or at least the first in recent memory, student from Olive Branch High School to achieve that honor.
Being able to claim a spot at the Naval Academy is the most difficult to get through the application process. Just nine percent of those who apply actually succeed in being accepted. However, those who are accepted receive a fully-paid education in exchange for five years of service in their branch of the military.
“The application process is really rigorous,” Boyero said. “It’s not like a regular college application. You have to go run and take a physical fitness test. You have to go to an interview. You have to go to all of these medical examinations. When you’re doing it, sometimes it feels like it won’t be worth it in the end but after you see the results and you see all of the hard work did pay off after you find out that you were accepted.”
However, Boyero also knows the rewards and the time in the academy is worth every moment.
“You’re guaranteed a spot after graduation in either the Navy as an ensign or the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant,” Boyero said. “People who go to a regular college are not even guaranteed an actual job, so you could go to college for four years and come out with nothing. Whereas, if you go to a service academy, you are guaranteed a spot in the military.”
That is exactly where Boyero wants to go, to become one of “the few and the proud” and continue a life he is quite well aware of.
His father, Maj. Robert Boyero, is a 29-year veteran of the Corps and now serves as the Senior Instructor for the Olive Branch Marine Corps Junior ROTC, where Jake is the Commanding Officer.
Having been stationed at several bases during his father’s military career has meant Jake knows what the life is like.
“The military has been a big part of my life since I was born,” Jake said. “The military has been good to my family and this country’s been good to my family, so why not give back to the country as best I can?”
The Naval Academy will be getting an exceptional midshipman, said school principal Jacob Stripling.
“This isn’t something that was accomplished in one month or one school year,” Stripling said. “It took years of hard work and dedication and studying. He is quick to lend a hand, quick to volunteer, quick to help out, always has a smile on his face, great personality, to go along with all of his academic accomplishments.”
Jake’s father added that he excels in his studies and has not had anything less that a B since middle school.
“I wish I could take credit for it but I’ve never influenced him in any one direction,” Boyero said. “I just told him to do his best and that will be the only reward that you will get, that he did his best. Everything he does he tries his best. He always has talked about being in the Marine Corps and I’ve never tried to steer him in any direction.”
Before Annapolis will come a year in prep school at Newport, R.I. and he will have to declare his choice of military branch during the summer of his junior year. Jake has already said he will take his Marine Corps commissioning and start what he hopes will be a full time career in the military.
Bob Bakken is a Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.