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Natoma graduate preps for military

5/6/2012

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

NATOMA — For as long as he can remember, Jared Hachmeister wanted to serve his country in the armed forces.

After graduating from Natoma High School on Saturday, Hachmeister, 18, now takes another step closer toward his goal.

In March, Hachmeister received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School for the 2012-13 year. It is a post-secondary school located on Naval Station Newport in Newport, R.I. After a year at the prep school, Hachmeister hopes to be in line for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Hachmeister was nominated for the Naval Academy, but there are more nominations than those who are accepted. A small number of those nominated who don’t make it in are offered the opportunity to go to the prep school, as was the case with Hachmeister.

“Basically a year of military boot camp, everything you’re going to learn at the academy, trying to get you built up,” Hachmeister said. “Normally, if you go to the Naval Academy prep school … they’ll make sure they do everything in their power to make sure you go,” to the Naval Academy.

Just going to the prep school starting in late July is an honor, Hachmeister said.

“It’s still a little bit surreal right now,” he said. “I’m really excited to go.”

Hachmeister had one grandfather serve in the Marines in World War II, while his other grandfather was in the Air Force. He hopes to continue a tradition of service to his country.

“I know people talk about they had the military calling, the call of duty,” Hachmeister said. “That’s kind of how it was for me.

“I’m really patriotic, and there’s a lot I’m thankful for,” he added. “I want to give back to my country.”

Entry into the Naval Academy would give Hachmeister an opportunity to pursue his ultimate goal.

“I really wanted to do Naval Academy because if I do that, I can try for SEALs,” Hachmeister said.

SEALs (Sea, Air and Land teams) is the Navy’s principal special operations force. Seal Team 6 carried out last year’s Pakistan operation against Osama bin Laden. It reaffirmed to Hachmeister he wanted to be a SEAL.

“It definitely got me to thinking that was the stuff I want to do,” he said. “I want to be making a drastic change for the better. I just want to be part of making this world a better place and my country safer.

“There’s a whole lot of desk jobs you can take that will pay a whole bunch, but I want the hardest training I can have. I want to be part of an elite team,” he said. “I just want to be the front line, knowing I make a difference. Just fight for the man to my left and to my right, and just fight for everyone I care about.”

Hachmeister, a 6-foot, 194-pounder who played football and basketball in high school, has been working out in preparation for the prep school. A typical day includes running, hitting the heavy bag with boxing gloves, practicing kickboxing and also doing sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups.

All in preparation for what lies ahead. It’s not easy to receive entry into the Naval Academy. For example, the class of 2015 had more than 19,000 applications, with 6,285 nominations. Approximately 275 candidates were offered appointments to the prep school.

Hachmeister’s long-range goal is to be in command of a SEAL team. He knows there is danger involved.

“There’s definitely a lot of concern for my parents about what I want to do,” Hachmeister said. “They definitely want me to have one of those desk jobs I talked about.

“I understand the danger that comes with it, but I really want to be part of that danger, because if I don’t do it then someone else has to, and someone (else’s) family has to worry,” he added. “I feel like I’m up for the challenge.”

Hachmeister is the son of Ken and Sheila Hachmeister. His mother admits to worrying a little about her son’s career choice.

“It’s hard, because you know they’re going to fight,” she said, “but on the other hand, how much more proud can you be?”