John Russell Hintze and Calvin Owens knew at a young age they wanted to continue their family traditions of military service.
The Grovetown High School seniors recently took the first step by signing letters of intent to attend military academies.
Hintze, 17, moves to Annapolis, Md., during the summer to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, the alma mater of his father and uncle.
First, though, he must shed the long, brown hair that extends past his shoulders.
“I’m going to cut it all off the day after graduation (on May 19) and donate it to Locks of Love,” he said.
Though Hintze said he knows he wants to major in math or chemistry, he has not yet decided in what capacity he wishes to serve as a Naval officer.
Owens, 17, on the other hand, already knows that he wants to become an infantry officer.
“When people think of the Army, they think of the infantry because they’re the ones sent in first,” he said. “When we’re in a war, that’s where I want to be, on the front lines.”
To get there, Owens will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall.
Though Owens’ parents didn’t attend West Point, both are retired Army officers and inspired his decision to follow suit.
To win a coveted spot at a U.S. military academy, students must perform well academically, show activism in the community and win the sponsorship of a member of Congress.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun sponsored Hintze and Owens, and attended the teens’ signing ceremony Thursday at the Grovetown High Media Center.
“They’re going to take on a whole new mantle for being a warrior,” said Broun, referencing the school’s Warrior mascot.