Boca Raton Community High School senior Austin Haynie is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy after graduation
Boca Raton, FL – There wasn’t a time in Austin Haynie’s life that he didn’t know that he wanted to do: FLY. Not just single engine planes; he is a 4th generation single engine pilot in his family, but “fast” jets. His ultimate goal has always been to be an astronaut and to travel to Mars.
So since the age of 2 he has shown an intense interest in flying, aeronautics, planes and space. Every activity his parents remember has revolved around either flying or reading books on military jets or watching documentaries on space.
Austin’s first steps to achieve his dream was joining the NJROTC his freshman year and has shown his dedication to his dream by not only becoming the Cadet Commanding Officer of the Boca Battalion his senior year, and not only leading them to a State championship, but he lead the team to their first National Title in Pensacola Florida. The first for the Boca battalion since its inception 16 years ago and the first national title in the 48 year history of Boca Raton Community High School.
Austin said he became interested in the Naval Academy because of how well-rounded the program was in both academic and physical aspects, along with the fact that the USNA has graduated more astronauts than any other military academy.
When asked why he recommended Austin to the program, LCDR K. A. Bingham USN (Ret.) of the Boca NJROTC answered “Austin has the ‘Right Stuff’! He has fulfilled my dream of having one of my Commanding Officers of the NJROTC program get an Appointment to the Naval Academy. His record speaks for itself. He has to be one of the finest leaders and students that I have seen in my seventeen years of teaching ROTC. He will make one of the finest Naval Officers the Navy has seen and it would be an honor for me to be able to serve under him. I am a very proud of his accomplishments to date and his commitment and wish him future success as he continues his journey to becoming a Naval Aviator. May he be blessed with fair winds and following seas.”
Chief Morales of the Boca High NJROTC says “Austin is one of the most remarkable cadets the Bobcat Battalion has ever had. I’m extremely proud of him. I have complete confidence in his abilities, and I’m sure he will be an outstanding midshipman.
His family was a big support, he said, but especially his mother who had to deal with his consistently busy schedule, hardly ever saw him, yet still found time to encourage and support him. They were all an integral part in maintaining his motivation to get through the tedious application process which consisted of things like a candidate physical fitness assessment and a congressional representative recommendation from Senator George LeMieux.
“After all hard work, it feels like a dream come true,” Austin said.
What advice does Haynie have for other students looking to achieve their dreams “Always push yourself beyond what you and other people think is possible. Always go for that seemingly “impossible” dream, and prove to yourself that you can achieve it.”