Military Spotlight: Arnold’s Amber Martin Soars At Air Force Academy


Broadneck High School graduate Amber Martin knew she wanted to go to the Air Force Academy as soon as her visit to the Colorado Springs, Colorado campus was over. It also helped that her older sister, Ella, was her host.

Martin comes from a military family. Her dad was in the Marines and her mom was a member of the Merchant Marine Academy, which is not part of the military but is a federal service academy. Martin moved several times growing up, and swimming was a way to meet new friends.

“I started swimming when I was 5, and the pool was where everyone went, so that’s where I met my new friends,” Martin said.

Once Martin moved to Maryland in 2013, she swam at the Naval Academy Aquatic Club and Broadneck High School.

“I had the privilege to coach Amber at the Naval Academy Aquatic Club,” said senior group head coach Brian Nelson. “You could tell that Amber was built for a military academy with her respect, attitude and discipline. As a swimmer, she is very talented with much more room to grow.”

Martin went to the Air Force Academy last summer for her “doolie year” and discovered how grueling a military academy’s schedule can become.

“It was the hardest year of my life,” Martin said. “In June, I went out for basic training, and it teaches you how to conduct yourself, lots of military memorization and team building. The classmates I met in basic training are still my best friends.”

Martin’s day begins at 5:30am for physical training and the remainder of the day is packed with classes, meals, practice and homework until lights go out at 10:30pm. They also have meets every weekend during the season, including traveling to the West Coast for some colleges.

One silver lining that Martin has during these chaotic days is seeing Ella, who will be a senior this year.

“Every day I get to see my sister and can ask her questions about classes, the culture of the academy, and just see her face and hear her voice,” Martin said of her cherished moments.

Although she misses her teachers at Broadneck, Martin appreciates the instructors at the academy, especially during the transitional year between high school and college.

“The instructors really care about the students,” Martin said. “The classes are small and that lends itself to getting extra help if you need it.”

After classes, Martin heads to the academy’s swim center for the daily three-hour practice.

“I love the challenge of trying to get better every day,” Martin said. “I love to race, and competing in the Mountain West Conference was a challenge.”

Martin’s specialty is the butterfly stroke, and she had an incredible freshman year.

Martin’s best time was a 54.20-second mark in the 100-yard butterfly, which ranks third all-time at the Air Force Academy. The record is 53.57.

“Amber has been an amazing addition to our team this year,” said Air Force Academy women’s swimming head coach Colleen Murphy. “She is an extremely hard worker, a great competitor, and loves to race. Amber improved tremendously during her freshman year. She dropped an amazing amount of time in the 100 and 200 fly. We are looking forward to her continued improvement at the academy and hopefully breaking our school record in the 100-yard fly next season.”

Martin will come home to Arnold this summer and see her family and hopefully do some fishing with her brothers on the Magothy River.

Then it’s back to Colorado for her sophomore year and continuing her academic and athletic career at the Air Force Academy. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in behavior psychology.


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