Evan Minniti staff writer
Come senior year, many high school students plan out post-graduate courses that are different from the traditional four-year school path. Some go to community colleges, others pursue careers. One percent of high school students nationwide, however, decide to enlist in the armed forces. Even fewer still immediately go to an officers’ school. In this particular case, Beverly has provided a needle in the haystack: senior Nick Forys will be attending the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. From there, Forys will serve five years in the United States Navy as an officer.
“It’s a four-year college, all expenses paid. No tuition or anything. But in return, you have to serve a minimum of five years in the Navy. A lot of people go to the Marine Corps from the academy. It’s kind of your job, and something that I want work for is to become a pilot,” Forys said. “You come out [of the Naval Academy] as an officer. It’s different than a guy enlisting after coming right out of high school.”
Forys points out that the Naval Academy is still traditional college, despite its military functions.
“I’m gonna be studying engineering. It’s like a normal college. You have engineering courses and a lot of people do political science or English. Math, physics, too. It’s actually considered a liberal arts college because everyone has to take calculus, physics, chemistry and stuff like that. It’s very STEM oriented.”
Many of Forys’ friends have been supportive of his decision. Hyun Jae Won, who has known Forys since seventh grade, is ecstatic about Forys’ plans.
“I am really proud that Nick chose to go the the Naval Academy. I think it’s very brave of him to serve his country. I think he’s going to do really well there,” Won said.
Forys spent last summer taking a course with the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary wing of the Air Force. There, he learned about daily life in the military, including “leadership, discipline, drills, ceremonies, customs and courtesies.” The summer course also gave Forys an opportunity to take part in volunteer services.
“It’s something that a lot of people don’t know about, and I wish I knew about it a lot sooner. They are out of Santa Monica Airport; they do search and rescue exercises. They look for missing planes, missing hikers. Through that, I got accustomed to the military atmosphere, I guess. That was a week-long program over the summer,” Forys explained.
Forys knows that he might end up in a combat role, but hopes to occupy a more peaceful position.
“There are different [types of] pilots you can be. You can be on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. That’s a combat role, where you would be dropping bombs. I have kinda thought about reconnaissance, that’s a little more relaxed,” Forys said.
Forys’ calling in the Navy didn’t fall out of the sky. Even in high school, Forys admits that he never outgrew “jets and cool military stuff.”
“It stuck with me. It motivated me to pursue the application even. I was also pursuing applications at the U.C.’s, and I got in to a few. At then end of [the application process], I was mentally committed to the Naval Academy.”