Recognition is always on Joshua Laramie’s backburner.
As he received his Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship worth $180,000, before acrowd of about 5,000 people at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, New York, July 4th, 2015, his focus remained on the true prize.
“Becoming a Marine means everything to me,” said Laramie, a Bethlehem, New York, native. “But the journey won’t end there. Not until I’m a leader of Marines.”
Pausing to gather his thoughts – envisioning his bright future as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps – Laramie stated, “Actually, leading Marines is just the beginning.”
A yearning for national service does not kindle in every American citizen. This can be derived from the fact that less than one percent of the U. S. population serve in the armed forces. For those in which this desire is embedded, the urge can primarily be attributed to family history - among many other reasons.
With an upbringing comprised of grandpa’s Army tales from the Korean War and great grandfather “Pop-Pop’s” accounts of World War II, Joshua said he knew at a young age he would be among the few whom pledge to a life of service.
During his freshman year at Ohio State University, Laramie came to the revelation that he would be among the few and proud.
“Doing Reserve Officers’ Training Corps my freshmen year – even though it was a big challenge– really gave me the reaffirmation that I wanted to go through with this,” said Laramie. “There was just something about the Marines – how in shape and how motivated they are.”
Despite an outstanding résumé flaunting accolades of Eagle Scout achievement and academic success in college level courses all throughout high school, Laramie found himself in the same boat as 92 percent of the scholarship’s applicants. He did not receive the NROTC scholarship in 2014.
Still desiring to become a Marine, Laramie heeded the advice of his Marine lieutenant and mentor in the ROTC program. He reapplied for the scholarship, and also for Platoon Leaders Class – another commissioning route.
This fortitude came to fruition in 2015, in which he was awarded the scholarship.
“As an NROTC scholarship recipient, I am well aware of the hard work and dedication it takes to be competitive for this opportunity,” said Capt. Carolyn Giebel, Recruiting Station Albany Executive Officer and NROTC applicant evaluator. “The courage Laramie displayed to try again and succeed shows he has the resolution required of a Marine Corps officer.”
It will be another three years until Laramie earns his commission as a second lieutenant, assuming he surmounts the trials of Officer Candidate School.
As an aspiring F-35B Lightning II or AV-8B Harrier II pilot, Laramie stated he was ecstatic in learning he passed the Aviation Selection Test Battery in January.
And it isn’t about the recognition.
“I’m building a bigger future than I’ve ever imagined,” said Laramie. “The next chapter of my life won’t begin until I lead Marines.”