USS PHILIPPINE SEA, At Sea (NNS) -- A Sailor from the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group's guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) was selected on March 7, to attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in preparation to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Brian Adkins first learned of his selection into the NAPS program, a one-year course to help prepare students for the rigorous academy course load, in late February.
Adkins had just reported to Philippine Sea and just after one month, he was on his way to Camp Victory, Iraq, as an individual augmentee (IA) to work with a counter rocket, artillery and mortar unit.
The Erin, Tenn. native volunteered for the IA billet, and by doing so set himself up unknowingly for the next big step in his Navy career.
"I was on my IA, and a Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) officer asked me if I wanted to apply and that he'd help me, and we started the application around April 2007," said Adkins. "The package consisted of a couple officer recommendations, academic review and a high school transcript."
Gaining admission to the Naval Academy is no easy feat, and many applicants must resubmit their packages multiple times, but Adkins says that he had everything the academy was looking for in an applicant. His motivation and astute sense of responsibility reflected the characteristics of a potential Naval officer.
"I'm pretty excited. I always get told that people don't get picked their first time submitting a package, so I didn't expect it," said Adkins. "When it came through I was pretty stoked."
"Just talking to Adkins, you can see the honor and the courage that the young man displays," said Philippine Sea's Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Christopher Thompson. "It's refreshing to be able to talk to a service member, a Sailor, that has that much pride in his country and the service that he is doing for his country."
Adkins gives the credit to his father, a retired chief gunner's mate, with instilling the pride that he exhibits today.
"When I was growing up, my father always told me about stuff he used to do in the Navy," explained Adkins. "When I got old enough it seemed like the job I wanted to do."
Now Adkins will get the chance to take his career in a different direction. After his time at NAPS, he will continue on to the Naval Academy as a fulltime student, working towards his goal of being commissioned as a naval officer.
"I think he'll do a great job as an officer," said Thompson. "He is exactly what we need in the officer ranks."
For more news from Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg8/.