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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Choosing to march to the top

Many teens after high school have a plan, whether it be college or a career, something sparks interest and reveals a purpose that will lead an individual through life, for Anthony Calanni it was the military.
Calanni, and fellow soldiers have time for fun even during work. Photo credit via Anthony Calanni
Calanni takes a breath after physical training tests.
Photo Credit via Anthony Calanni.

Calanni was a student at Colonia High School during the years of 2005-2009. Calanni made sure his attendance was decent. But school was never the strongest focus in his life. Calanni made his presence loud and visible through sports. Being a star wrestler, and popular football player, athletics is what he excelled in. With this realization settling in,  college was an unrealistic option. He began to see that he did not want to spend any more time behind a desk.

“College just was not for me, it did not interest me. I did not want to go,” said Calanni.

Fresh out of High School, he began talking to recruiters. Often the word education has strong ties to school. But the military values education just as much as anyone else. The ASVAB, is a multiple aptitude test that all military applicants must take. Calanni had no choice but to fully commit to education and hard work. After keeping in contact with recruiters, his time as a kid after high school hit its extent.

Military training in Texas.
Calanni, right, next to instructor.
Photo credit via Anthony Calanni

One morning, there was a loud banging on the front door and there stood two soldiers. Calanni was told to pack a bag with everything he will need for a few weeks. Without any notice, Calanni’s journey was beginning. Meanwhile, the family had to cope with this shock.

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Much like a job has a training period, the military has one as well. In addition to mental clarity, physical fitness is something a soldier must possess. Basic training is a nine-week course every newbie has to endure. Calanni was sent to Fort Sill Oklahoma for basic training. During his training, he was learning seven key lessons. These lessons include land navigation, which is how to travel by foot or a land vehicle in unknown terrain. Map reading for travel. How to handle artillery appropriately. Military history, customs and courtesies, and resilience. Additionally, hand to hand combat is also important.

“If I could describe the military in one word, it would be amazing. Some of the things a soldier has to do are amazing,” Calanni said.

Furthermore, soldiers have to be able to complete a two-mile run. They have to perform two full minutes of push-ups, as well as sit-ups. Because Calanni grew up in sports, physical tests were easy to conquer.

soldier holding a flag.
Anthony Calanni, holding attention.
Photo Credit via Anthony Calanni.

“I love my job now, I get to train and mold young kids into adults,” Calanni commented, “It takes a long time, but now I can attend flight school and become a pilot. The hardest part of the military is being away from family. A daily struggle in the military is safety. Making sure everyone gets home safely or comes out of a situation safely.”

The military is something that takes years to experience. It is a lot of training, studying and maximum effort. Because of this responsibility, a lot of time is spent away from home. Calanni has been home on and off for the last 5 years. The recently announced Warrant Officer is currently preparing to spend five years in Alabama. It is hard to drop someone you love off at the airport, and leave them in the rearview.  However, he gets to see many different places. “A great thing about the military is getting to view different places, and saying I have been there.”

But Calanni is not the only face from Colonia High that chooses to march through life. Similarly, many students still aspire to join the military after high school is over.

“I do see a lot of young people right out of high school that join, and they have to start with the very basics,” said Calanni.

Here at Colonia High School, we offer a U.S Naval Sea Cadets corps program. This program is open to any student that has an interest in learning military-style training without actually enlisting. This program, although not promising enlistment or involvement in the military, does provide opportunities to those cadets that do enlist. Cadets who enlist could be eligible for higher pay grade because of prior training as a Sea Cadet.

The military teaching and helping children.
Photo credit via Anthony Calanni.

“The Sea Cadets really teaches discipline and customs. It teaches harsh reality, much like the military.” said a senior at Colonia High School, who partakes in the program. “I think that people choose the military for many reasons. Such as not being able to pay for college, or wanting to learn lifelong skills.”

Because of the existence of this program, in various schools, the military does make recruiting in high schools easier. In addition to The Sea Cadets, every so often we have members from each military branch visit the school.  During these visits, students are allowed to ask questions and obtain information.

Calanni is currently home for the holidays, resuming his daily job of being an older brother. But once he returns to business it is straight back to flight school, and working to reach his goals of becoming a pilot.



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About the Contributor
Angelique Richardson
Angelique Richardson, Senior News Editor
Angelique Richardson is a 17 year old Senior at Colonia High School. She enjoys spending free time reading, writing poetry, practicing music, and taking yoga classes. Richardson is a hard-working, dedicated student - her favorite subject being English as it has nothing to do with numbers. Richardson's favorite season is fall because of  the festivities such as pumpkin picking, hay rides and drinking apple cider. She enjoys working with children and therefore spends summer doing volunteer work at Matthew Jago School. Richardson is currently a employee at Colonia Dairy Maid. Although She does not play sports, she does have an interest in watching sports. Richardson aspires to major in medicine and become a pediatrician.

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Choosing to march to the top