Deckard, Murrell Set Sail For U.S. Naval Academy Seminar


Jaxson Deckard, a senior at Warsaw High School, was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar, the Virtual Air Force Seminar and the Coast Guard Academy Introduction Mission. Drake Murrell, also a senior at Warsaw High School, very recently attended a seminar in Annapolis for the United States Naval Academy. These seminars are competitive to attend and a student must be academically outstanding, have athletic honors and participate in extracurricular activities.

Summer seminars are taken by prospective cadets looking to apply to the highly prestigious military academies in the United States. The seminars show what the academy has to offer the student, what boot camp is like, and the atmosphere of each academy.

In addition, Deckard stated that taking a summer seminar gives a competitive edge as a candidate.

According to Murrell, there were roughly 800 students for each of the sessions. In one seminar, students take six classes from different majors as well as taking leadership courses, morning workouts, and the basics of marches and drills.

Murrell stated that the hardest part of the seminar was the very early wake-up time at 5:30 in the morning.

Deckard took a particular interest in the Aerospace Engineering class and the Political Science class.

All military academies are extremely rigorous, testing students for academic exceptionality (required to be in at least the top 20% of their graduating class), athletic abilities, leadership qualities in the community, and work ethic. After showing competence in ACT or SAT scores and GPAs, students are then required to complete a physical endurance test. In addition to proving their athletic prowess, the applicant should secure a recommendation from the vice-president or a congressman from their state. After the process is concluded, only a small percentage of applicants are chosen. The acceptance rate for military academies ranges from around 7 percent to 20 percent, depending on the academy. These percentages are comparable to highly selective schools such as the Ivy League's Dartmouth College which has only a 10.6% acceptance rate.

Deckard’s current plan is to go into the Navy and possibly become a pilot but has not overlooked going into the Air Force or the Coast Guard. His career path has been inspired by his family members. Deckard’s great-uncle was a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Officer, his great-grandfather joined the Army and fought in the Korean War, his grandfather was in the Air Force and served in Vietnam and his grandmother served in the Air Force and was in the Israeli Defense Force when she lived in Israel. His father joined both the Army and the Air Force and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and later retired from the military.

When asked why he wanted to join the military, Deckard stated “America has really blessed me with a lot, and I want to give back.”

In addition to serving the country in the Armed Forces, Deckard plans to pursue a political career after retiring from the military.

When asked about his seminar and his plans, Murrell stated that the seminar showed him how to “understand the life of a midshipman at the naval academy” and explained that the seminar helped him decide that service was the career path he had decided on. Murrell has used his time at the seminar to reflect on plans and his favorite part of the seminar was to meet new people who share his interests in the military.

Both Deckard and Murrell are highly accomplished in multiple fields in high school. Deckard has been filling his resume with competitive college mathematics courses such as trigonometry, athletics such as cross country and track, has gone to state in Madrigal, and has been accepted as a participant of Missouri Boys State.

Murrell has been a juggernaut in both athletics and academics, competing in baseball and football with a state qualification under his belt as well as a conference championship in wrestling. In addition, Murrell has excelled in academics through college-level mathematics courses and has also been selected to attend Missouri Boys State.