Ben Felhofer is a junior (Midshipman 2nd Class) at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Ben is a 2012 graduate of Sturgeon Bay High School. He recently spoke about his journey from Sturgeon Bay High to the Naval Academy.
“I knew that I wanted to serve my country, and I was attracted to the officer route because I could earn a college degree before serving. I also felt an urge to push myself in a challenging environment. The Naval Academy prepares me to serve and lead in exactly that kind of environment.”
The application process takes some time to complete. “Having a parent or coach makes the process a lot easier.” In order to receive a service academy appointment, applicants need either a Congressional, Senatorial, Vice Presidential or Presidential Nomination.
“The most challenging parts of the process were the interviews. However, those were the most rewarding as well. I learned valuable skills that will help me throughout my career.” Ben received his nomination from Congressman Reid Ribble.
Ben is a mechanical engineering major at the Naval Academy. “They keep us plenty busy. We juggle schoolwork, sports, clubs and military obligations, which can get stressful at times. But being a part of some great teams and clubs has made it a great experience thus far.
“The hard work we put in during the school rear really pays off in the summer, my favorite time of year. After Plebe (freshman) year, we boarded a Navy cruiser in Guam and took it back to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Last summer we travelled to Israel on a cultural immersion trip. We learned about Israeli history and spent time with the Israeli defense forces.”
Ben aspires to become a Marine Corps Aviator when he graduates and is commissioned in 2017. “I really like the tight-knit, ‘brotherhood’ culture of the Marine Corps, and having the opportunity to fly while serving my country seems like an awesome deal to me”.
There will be a U.S. Naval Academy Informational meeting on Sun, Nov. 22, from 4-6 pm at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Delafield, Wis. All middle and high school students and their parents/guardians are welcome.