Seguin High School senior Wyatt Smith knew after graduation he was seeking a life of service to his country.
It led him to focus his time and efforts throughout his high school career to earning good grades, participating with various extra-curricular activities and hours of community service.
This all culminated into him earning an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, following a tough application process, along with a nomination from U.S. Congressman Vincente Gonzales.
“I was very honored to receive an appointment to the United States Naval Academy,” he said.
Smith said his journey to his appointment began his freshman year.
“A lot of time was spent doing extra curricular activities that I really enjoyed and really learned a lot from the great people at SHS,” he said.
While at Seguin High School, Smith was captain of the cross county team, in the band, on the powerlifting team, a member of BPA, co-captain of the debate team, member of student council and HOSA, and was involved in journalism and MatCast.
The application process is long and tedious, Smith said.
He enlisted the help of a friend — who received appointment last year to West Point — to get him through it and on the right path to receiving the appointment.
Initially, Smith had his sights set on attending West Point, but while he applied for all of the other military academies, he received the appointment to Annapolis, which was just as exciting, he said.
“I’m very happy. I’ve always wanted to serve our country and this is a great opportunity. It is a great education,” he said. “It is one of the highest ranking public schools in the country.”
His first year at the Naval Academy will focus on core classes. It won’t be until his second year at the academy that he will determine a major in which to pursue, Smith said.
That will determine what Smith will do following graduation from the academy and his commission into military service.
“Most people come out with an engineering degree, but they also offer English, and (other paths),” he said. “You decide what you’re going to do in the military in college.”
Additionally, he can determine whether he will continue with the Navy, Marines or Coast Guard or find a West Point cadet willing to swap places.
“I think there are a lot of great opportunities and I’m keeping my opportunities open,” he said. “I’ll be in the Navy while I’m there for four years, after that, I don’t know. Statistically, most people stay with the Navy.”
While he is excited about the appointment and the doors it will open, Smith admitted he was a little nervous about the changes that will come.
However, Smith said he has started preparing himself mentally and physically.
“I’ve been taking as many challenging AP and DC (dual credit) classes as possible,” he said. “Physically, getting in shape, I’ve been running a lot.”
He also decided to forgo a typical graduation party and spent part of an afternoon with his friends at the SS American Memorial helping prepare for an event later on that day.
“Coincidentally, it was Armed Forces Day, so it turned out well. I went out and helped them set up for some active duty guys coming out,” he said. “A couple of my friends came out and helped. It was nice.”
Smith said he is honored to receive the appointment, and to have the support of his community.
“I’ve been blessed to be in a very nice community with very supportive people,” he said. “It is the American people who are putting me through this and it is Seguin who got me there. I owe a great debt to everyone who helped me get there.”
Smith will begin the U.S. Naval Academy on June 27.