Ella Martin — a 2021 graduate of Broadneck High School — has made quite the impression during her first year at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).
Ella was named to the superintendent’s list, along with other cadets who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA. These individuals are recognized by the dean of the faculty and wear a small silver star on their uniform.
Additionally, cadets who are recognized for achievement in military performance by the commandant of cadets wear a silver wreath. Cadets who are recognized for excellence in physical education by the director of athletics wear a silver lightning bolt. Cadets on all three lists are recognized by the superintendent and wear the star enclosed in the wreath between two small lightning bolts. Ella achieved this, making all three lists, in her first semester at the academy.
“Ella is tenacious and driven, which showed as she never quit working to independently earn an appointment to USAFA,” said Amy Martin, Ella’s mother. “She is sorely missed at home, but we are extremely proud of her accomplishments during her ‘doolie’ year. She has never settled in the classroom, pool or in military training.”
Doolie year is a fourth-class cadet or better known as college freshman.
Before attending USAFA, Ella was a varsity letter winner for swimming at Broadneck High School and received academic honors as a student. She also swam at the Naval Academy Aquatic Club and was a contributing member to the community in lifeguarding, swim coaching and giving swim lessons.
“Growing up and swimming helped me in a lot of ways,” Ella said. “Being mentally tough is extremely important here because USAFA is a stressful environment, and a thousand things are going to make a person want to quit.”
Ella said swimming also prepared her physically during basic and in-training sessions throughout the year because she needed to perform physical training at an altitude.
“I didn't know much about the Air Force Academy before I attended a swim camp there during the summer after my sophomore year of high school,” Ella said. “Growing up near the Naval Academy, and as a military kid who lived in Colorado Springs when I was younger, gave me a lot of exposure to military life. Academies in general have been on my radar since I was young.”
Military service is a big part of Ella’s family. Her dad is a retired U.S. Marine, and she has other family members who were in the Army. For instance, her grandmother is a retired lieutenant colonel. Lastly, her mom was a lieutenant in the United States Navy.
“I picked USAFA because of all the opportunities it provides and for the ultimate opportunity to serve my country,” Ella said.
She continues to set and work toward goals.
“Some goals I have through the rest of this year are to maintain or raise my GPA and MPA,” Ella said.
MPA stands for military performance average, which is a cadet’s GPA for all military-related activities.
“After graduation, I am not entirely sure what I want to do, but being a pilot is definitely near the top of the list,” Ella said.
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