A salute to our enlisted soldiers


One of the most frequently asked questions a senior in high school is asked is, “Where are you attending college next year?” As seen from the ever growing college acceptance boards and posts on social media sites, most students have a similar goal of attending college after high school. Not every senior will attend college in the fall, but instead will choose to do something that is still deserving of praise.

Last Wednesday, senior students who have enlisted in a U.S. military branch gathered and spoke about their decision to serve our country.

This year, eight members of the senior class will be entering a military branch after high school. Seniors Emily Decelles, Miles Gallagher, Kyle Medeiros, and Ronald Rose have enlisted in the Navy; seniors Nicholas Gallucci and Alex Maccini have enlisted in the Army; senior Ethan Jensen will be joining ranks in the Marines; and senior Joseph Labossiere will be joining the National Guard.

When asked why they decided to join the military, the enlisted seniors explained that the military offers students with a variety of opportunities.

“I have a better opportunity for school,” said Decelles whose ship date is August 12. “If I go to college after duty, the Navy pays for it.” She also explained that joining the Navy was a great way for her to become successful and will help in establishing a good life for herself.

Medeiros,whose ship date is August 6, agreed, explaining that joining the Navy would assist him in bettering his life. Rose’s shipment date is September 23 and said, “I saw it as a good way to start life after high school, and it’s a chance to really see the world.”

“As much as I did it to serve my country, I did it for the career choice,” said Maccini, who will be leaving for Basic Training in Oklahoma on June 24. “There’s an endless number of jobs to choose from, and I can bring it back to the civilian world and make a career out of it.”

Gallagher, who will be leaving for Illinois for Basic Training on August 26, comes from a family of men who have been in the Navy, including his father who was in the Navy for over 20 years. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” he said.

Each senior needed to take an aptitude test to help in deciding which career they wanted to pursue once they were enlisted. “The higher your score in the aptitude test, the more jobs available for you,” said Decelles.They also needed to go to the Military Entrance Processing Station in Boston for a medical examination and to enlist.

Decelles plans on being an IT communications technician, which includes working on computers on ships, fleets, and bases, and running security and background checks. Medeiros will train to be an aircraft specialization mechanic, Gallagher will train to be an air traffic controller, and Rose has chosen to be an electrician for the boats and shipyard. Maccini plans on being an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot, a specialty he will be able to take with him when he returns to civilian life.

Before basic training starts, physical training takes place about two days a week for three hours, depending on the branch. “We also have a meeting every month to go over everything you need to know for boot camp,” said Decelles.

Maccini explained that the recruiters are very helpful during the whole process. “If I ever need anything, I can go to them,” he said. “They’ll make sure you won’t screw up.”

The seniors explained that their families are supportive of their choice. Gallagher mentioned his family is more supportive of his decision to join the Navy than if he had decided to go to college.

“My mom wasn’t that happy at first when I went to enlist without her knowing,” said Maccini, who enlisted last summer when he turned 17. “She’s happy about it now, knowing I didn’t want to back out.”

Decelles is the only female senior at DHS who has enlisted. She is aware that 30 percent of females are sexually harassed in the Navy, but said that does not scare her. “I need to be aware and protect myself,” she said. “It’s not going to stop me from going in or doing something I really want to.”

According to the enlisted seniors, the biggest change will be the transition from a civilian to a sailor or soldier, but they are ready. “It’s a totally different change, and your mindset will change,” said Decelles. “I’m nervous, but much more excited.”