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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Wolff
Marine Anticipates New Path at Naval Academy
By Lance Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich
II Marine Expeditionary Force
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Oct. 17, 2006 — Many enlisted Marines and sailors look for avenues to better themselves. Joining the military demonstrates the servicemembers’ willingness to pursue different challenges. Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Wolff decided to apply to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Every summer the USNA accepts 1,200 men and women from all 50 states whose goal is to become leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps. Enlisted Marines and sailors have an advantage over their high school peers when applying to the academy and adjusting to military rules and regulations based on their prior service.

Wolff, a Marine Air Ground Task Force enlisted planner with II Marine Expeditionary Force, said applying through the USNA Web site was easy.

“I filled out a preliminary application and was accepted (to use the Web site) two days later,” Wolff said. “I was given a user name and password that gave me access to the package area.”

Since childhood, Wolff dreamed of becoming a Marine. Recently, his ambitions led him to apply for the officer ranks. He feels comfortable with his decision and believes the training he received at recruit training and Marine Combat Training will give him an edge over civilians, who may find it harder to adjust to military life.

“The military has definitely given me the upper hand,” said Wolff. “If I’m accepted, I don’t feel I will have to make a big adjustment like those who’ve never lived a military lifestyle.”

Wolff, an avid chess player, hopes to be accepted in time to attend classes beginning June 2007. Since receiving his enrollment package three weeks ago, he has spent much time completing all requirements, especially by running and lifting weights to get in top physical shape. This is only a small part of what becoming a midshipman is about.

“You have to be good in all areas; academics, leadership and athletics,” he said.

Wolff will also have to be interviewed by three officers in his command. Separately, two colonels and Wolff’s commanding officer will each conduct private interviews with him.

“Filling out the paperwork and getting in shape is easy,” he said. “It’s getting the CO’s recommendation that is worrisome.”

Wolff feels confident in his decision and in his ability to become a member of America’s military fraternity of Naval and Marine Corps officers. If admitted into the academy, he will be of a select few. This year more than 10,700 men and women applied for enrollment, only 1,215 were accepted.

Last Updated:
10/17/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
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