Lessons and Opportunities for Service.
By Victoria M. Ramirez-Solis,
MIDN 2/C, USN
Fifth grade was the first time I had heard my teachers stress college as a future possibility. That day I went home and I told my grandmother, who was raising me, that I wanted to go to college. However due to my grandparents’ and my uncles years of Naval Service, she ensured that I did not think about foregoing the same service they had done before me. She encouraged me to start thinking about going to the “Navy College” instead. So as a 5th grader I sat on the school computer trying to find out more about the “Navy College” to find the website of the Naval Academy.
From that moment on I applied myself. I went back to my 5th grade teacher and asked her to help me create a “road map” to get there. Along the way I was able to find STEM clubs like Our Shades of Blue and was mentored by a graduate, CAPT Leon Miller (retired). My focus was set and I went for it. I was blessed with an appointment to the Naval Academy in the spring of my senior year.
During high school my primary motivation was to get into the Naval Academy. When I was finally awarded this dream, I found that I had no direct vision or goal. Plebe year I struggled so much. I wasn’t the fastest, I couldn’t do the most pushups, the classes were difficult, and I could hardly memorize the daily information we were instructed to know. I was humiliated to be struggling and did not want to let anyone know. It wasn’t until my summer training while I was on a Destroyer that I began to learn and visualize what the Navy could offer me. While being aboard this ship, I noticed how everyone worked together to get their various tasks completed. Working as a strong team was the only possible way things could be accomplished. So on the waters of the Persian Gulf, amongst the crew of this ship and a new perspective, I aligned all my interests of travel and being out to sea with my desires to help people and be a good leader.
Understanding that it is okay to ask, receive and offer help was the greatest lesson I have learned at the Naval Academy, and once I became comfortable with this I was able to take advantage of all the opportunities offered to midshipmen. I have been able to serve as a representative for the Naval Academy for various extracurricular activities I became a part of. Through these activities I have been lucky to meet Nobel Prize winners to high-ranking officers of the military.
However, the most thrilling experience that I have been afforded at the Naval Academy has been the education and daily experiences that I share with my classmates. Our time at the Academy had been spent doing amazing things, whether we think it or not. We are all passionate about our development as future Officers, and it shows as we all strive together to do our best. It is an environment that appears to be foreign to friends from home. I am incredibly thankful for the numerous life molding experiences that have been put before me. As the clock continually ticks down to May 25th, 2018, I know we all are preparing ourselves to be commissioned as selfless leaders dedicated to our service. I hope that when the time comes, I can do my service as a Surface Warfare Officer, since my passion for the Navy was founded out on the seas.
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