Riley Haugen heads to the Naval Academy

But for Austin High School Class of 2021 graduate Riley Haugen, all he’ll bring to college is a bundle of paper and the clothes on his back. Haugen, 17, is heading to the US Naval Academy and will start on Tuesday, June 29.

The three-season athlete recently sat down to talk about what it takes to enter the US Naval Academy.

Austin High School graduate Riley Haugen at the Austin YMCA on June 16, 2021. Haugen is heading to the Naval Academy in about a week. (Ken Klotzbach / [email protected])

How did the application process go?

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“First you have to make a preliminary application. Then you do their main application for the Naval Academy, which includes a fitness assessment, then a medical qualification that you have to pass. Then a very long application with The essay After that you have your congressional nomination.

“If you don’t get the Congressional nomination, you can’t go to the academy. The Congressional nomination is another candidacy with an interview and essay. If you end up getting the nomination, the Naval Academy will pass. go through it all together and then they’ll decide if they want you – if you have all of their qualifications with the nomination. “

(Riley applied to both the US Naval Academy and the US Air Force Academy as well as Iowa State University. He was accepted into all three.)

Why did you want to go to the Naval Academy?

“In 10th grade I was doing university research and found the Naval Academy online, then one of my mom’s friends had a midshipman, that’s what they call the students there, and we talked for a while and he really got me hooked on the idea and he encouraged me to apply for one of the camps they have there.

“I was able to go out to three camps in total, including a visiting weekend. These really opened my eyes to what everyday life was like and because I am a person who enjoys a job in the field. tough times and I want to be part of a team that has good morale and wants to do the right thing, all the time.

“I thought to myself that when I went to the Naval Academy, it would help me pursue my future goals in aerospace engineering and piloting helicopters for the Navy.”

Was it a difficult decision to make between the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy?

“Sort of. I got the Air Force Academy nomination at the end of February and at that time I was still waiting for the acceptance letter from the Naval Academy.

“During that time, about two months, I was almost convinced the Air Force Academy would be just as good. They are all exceptionally awesome to me.

“It was only a matter of time until I got the Naval Academy. And I knew I would be happy anywhere I went, I just knew the Naval Academy was my initial dream and it would help me pursue my goals. better. “

How are you preparing for the Naval Academy?

“I have my pack of papers which I bring, then the clothes on my back, then I go in and they will give me whatever I need.

“During the plebeian summer, the six weeks of training, we don’t have internet access. It’s only three 30-minute phone calls, evenly spaced throughout the six weeks. But other than that, it doesn’t. there really is no internet access.

“During class, they will have leadership and physical development classes and there won’t necessarily be a need for computers during the summer.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?

“I love fishing.” (He said his biggest catch was a 33-inch Northern over the Mississippi.)

“I also really enjoy reading books in my free time in the hammock and just lying outside on the chair.” (Her favorite book is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”, which tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in the Pacific Theater and who was held as a prisoner of war.)

Asked & Answered is a weekly question-and-answer column featuring residents of Southeast Minnesota. Is there someone you would like to see featured? Send your suggestions to [email protected]

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