ALL DRESSED UP. Senior David Skarlupka poses in his uniform when applying for a scholarship. photo/CRAIG ROUHIER

Marching in formation, wearing his perfectly ironed uniform and replying to commands without hesitation are parts of the inspection senior David Skarlupka undergoes weekly.

“Freshman year I got really tired of doing all my homework, and I decided I wanted to try something else instead of going right into college [after high school],” Skarlupka said.

Skarlupka got involved in the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Corps on campus during his junior year and is currently taking two NJROTC classes.

“He started kind of late, started as a junior and grasped it quickly. He excelled fast and faster than most [students], and [faster] than anyone I have ever seen. Once he gets there, [to boot camp], he will be ahead of his peers by having taken the classes and experienced a military environment,” First Sergeant Gustavus Wilson said.

In January, Skarlupka went to Jacksonville and enlisted in the Navy. He had to complete a military physical, decide which branch he wanted to be involved in and start a contract. Prior to signing the contract, he had to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The ASVAB is a test given at Military Entrance Processing Stations when one is trying to enlist to the military.

“I like the military environment. The Navy intrigues me. It is currently the only branch with a nuclear power program. NJROTC showed me I was most comfortable with the Navy too,” Skarlupka said.

While he is serving, he will be working in the nuclear power program. He will maintain nuclear reactors and keep them in check.

“What he will be doing [working in the nuclear power program] is one of the hardest jobs to do, rare and highest job to do in the Navy. He got one of the highest scores on the ASVAB,” Wilson said.

In less than six months, Skarlupka will go to boot camp on Oct. 23.

“The hardest part is knowing that I have to leave in October. I have to have a different mind set because I am going straight into the real world, unlike college, [which is] a continuation of high school,” Skarlupka said.

After completing boot camp, Skarlupka will serve 22 months in South Carolina.

“I am going to miss my family and friends. Being placed in South Carolina will be hard because of the distance. I won’t be able to leave [and go home]. It is going to be hard missing my family and friends but it will pay off in the end,” Skarlupka said.

Although Skarlupka will face the challenge of missing his family, he has support from his family and teachers.

“I would tell him to be respectful, listen to all of his advisors and learn as you go. He is respectful and has good manners so I do not predict him having any problems,” Wilson said.

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