Story by CDR James Stockman on 06/07/2019By Cmdr. James Stockman, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. Sweaty palms, teary eyes and two proud parents, this was the scene inside the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) headquarters as a Pensacola, Florida native and 2019 graduate of West Florida High School of Advanced Technology enlisted in the U.S. Navy June 7.
Alexander Hamid Rashid Cole, the son of NETC Force Master Chief Karim Cole and retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Bridgette Cole, was administered the oath of enlistment by Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, NETC commander.
"My main reason for joining the Navy was to become the best version of myself," said Alexander. "I plan to push myself in a way that I have never done before. Most of all, I want to serve in the best military in the world and protect the same freedoms that my parents have fought to protect."
Alexander's enlistment in the Navy is a requirement before he reports to the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, July 23. At NAPS, Alexander will go through a 10-month course of instruction to prepare him for the challenges of life at a service academy.
Alexander plans to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, as a member of the class of 2024.
"My father used to work with the Blue Angels [Navy flight demonstration team] when he was a command master chief," said Alexander. "That meant that I was able to hear and observe the behind-the-scenes view of such an elite group of pilots. I imagined being in a similar position in the future and knew that the Navy could provide me with the tools I needed to succeed in aviation, be it in the cockpit or behind the scenes."
Alexander also received an ROTC scholarship to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and he had acceptance letters from five other colleges and universities. However, he chose to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
"He was offered several options to attend other schools and he chose the Naval Academy route because he wanted to serve," said Karim Cole. "That for us is very humbling, and Bridgette and I could not be more proud of this young man."
For more on NETC, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/ and https://www.facebook.com/netcpao/.