J OAQUIN M ORALES
A PPOINTEE “ To educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.”
Joaquin Morales is dedicated member of the Central Catholic JROTC program, Raider Team and Physical Training team. His Catholic education influenced his decision to pursue serving his country. In fact, he says that it was the JROTC faculty and mentors at CCHS who emphasize and exemplify the concept of servant leadership who inspired his journey to appointment. Joaquin is passionate about being a leader who will do what he can to support and serve the United States of America. The characteristics of honor and integrity that were formed and rooted in his Catholic faith, education, and in the Marianist tradition will always play a key role in his decision to apply for appointment at an academy. Read his interview below! I knew I wanted to attend college, but I also had a strong interest in serving my country. My family has a history of service, especially in the Army. Like them, I consider it the duty of every able-bodied person to try and serve. As for the United States Military Academy (USMA) in particular, I spent years in a boy scout troop overseen by former Army officers, and was very much influenced by them and by my experience in the Central Catholic Army JROTC program. I also had a strong interest in the United States Naval Academy, however, after visiting both schools, I seemed to have a great sense of place at the USMA. Preparation for an academy always requires good grades and SAT/ACT scores first, but I learned along the way that physical fitness and leadership roles are equally critical. As far as steps, there are too many to describe, and I kept a spread sheet of all the required submissions. Essays and teacher recommendations were part of the process and the academies have electronic portals that allow you to monitor whether they have received the required submissions. The most complex part of the process was securing a nomination. Every congressman and representative had a different procedure, although they communicate between one another to avoid duplicating nominations. Each one required a different number of personal recommendations. Getting an interview with a representative was exciting and a little taxing. My interview was not with a Senator or Congressman, but with a panel of graduates of the Naval Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Air Force Academy. Interestingly, there was no representative of the USMA there for the interview. I was asked questions about my resume, my experiences in the JROTC, my leadership roles, and my future interests. I was blessed to have received a letter of assurance late in 2017. I was in an National Honor Society meeting when my mother texted me and told me I had received a large packet from the USMA. I was fueled with excitement, but I didn't want to speculate, because I hadn't actually seen what an acceptance packet from an academy looked like. When I got home, I opened it and must admit is was rather overwhelming. My first thought was almost a disbelief that I had gotten into my top choice of schools, but I was certainly ecstatic. I was so excited, in fact, that I had to let it sink in a bit before I could even tell other members of my family. It seems funny now, but I tried to keep it a secret, telling only Mr. Ybarra and my JROTC instructors! However, when it was announced at school, I was able to share the excitement with my friends, especially on the Raider and PT teams. I look forward to my upcoming years at USMA and serving my country.
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