With graduation behind him, St. Croix Central Class of 2018 graduate Jacob Larson is ready to move on to the next part of his life, which will include basic combat training, with the hopes of eventually leading his own squad in the army.
"Going into the military has been something I've known I've wanted to do for a long time. And it has been something I've felt like I've needed to do," Larson said. "I knew that I wanted to join the military pretty much from the start of my freshman year. For the last four years I've just been going back and forth, and weighing the pros and cons, of which branch to enlist in. With a combination of the benefits and the opportunities that it gives, as well as from the advice of my recruiter, I decided that the army was the best place for me."
Larson will ship out to Fort Sill in Oklahoma for basic combat training on June 26 and will be specializing in information technology as part of his military occupational specialty.
"Eventually, after I complete my training, I'm hoping to apply for academies with the big goal of getting to West Point Military Academy. I want to major in electrical engineering, while also becoming an officer and be able to lead my own squad," Larson said. "My primary motivation for going is the challenge. To me, I see everything in life as a challenge that needs to be conquered. But it also feels like the right thing to do and I want to do the right thing by myself and, eventually, by my soldiers. It is also a half a million dollar education for free."
Throughout his high school career, Larson took part in many different sports and activities. However, as his classes got harder, he dropped many of his extracurricular activities to focus on academics.
"The best advice — which might be a little cliche — is if you have the drive and the will to do something, nothing will ever stop you," Larson said.