Hoping to continue her family legacy in the military

Junior Audrey Griswold prepares to serve


Paul Griswold

Standing in front of the Marine Corps symbol, junior Audrey Griswold tours Iowa State University ROTC. Griswold always thought the Naval Academy was the place where she wanted to start. “At the Naval Academy, once you step on campus you are active military, whereas by taking an ROTC program you would be able to have your own college experience. So it’s very different, but I think both are exceptional options,” Griswold said.

With a family history in the military, junior Audrey Griswold decided at the age of 13 that she wanted to continue the family legacy, serving her country. 

Griswold is thinking about the Naval Academy or going to a college and taking an ROTC reserve officer training corps program. Her goals include improving her academics, physique and leadership.

“[At the Naval Academy,] I might not become a Marine. But, being a Marine is all I’ve ever wanted to do. So making sure that is my definite end game and that I truly get what I want when I’ve worked so hard for it, that’s important,” Griswold said. 

Becoming a marine, at either the Naval Academy or a college, makes you eligible for the national scholarship through a point system. You get points for fitness and academics (ACT and SAT score), which count up for the scholarship—the better your scores, the more eligible you become. Griswold is leaning towards the ROTC route because at the Naval Academy you are not guaranteed a spot as a marine. You only have about a 13% chance of becoming a marine.

 “I am trying to do everything in my power to earn the scholarship,” Griswold said. “I participate in Studio Dance and the Poms squad to maintain my fitness. I talk to my teachers and ask for help to improve my grades.”

If Griswold gets into the Naval Academy, the day is scheduled from sun up to sundown.

“You get up at 5 a.m. do physical training, have breakfast, do your skills and then go through five or six hours of classes. [Then you] go to your sport and go to dinner, do homework and in bed by midnight,” Griswold said.

The discipline aspect is what motivates Griswold to want to become a Marine.

“I respect people in the military, especially Marines because of their work ethic. They are very prestigious and very put together and I admire that. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to go all out,” Griswold said.

She believes discipline helps develop your character.

“I think your character is very important. During quarantine, I would get up about 6 a.m. and do my weights and then run four to four and a half miles before my family got up,” Griswold said. Learning how to speak, and learning how to lead people in a way that will be effective, will help me in the long run.”

Griswold recognizes the sacrifices she will have to make by going to undisclosed locations and withholding classified information.

“I think it’s really important to recognize that there are people who don’t see their family for years. They are fighting, so people have the freedom to do whatever they want. I think it’s important to remember the fallen and remember the people that have died, giving us the freedom that we have today,” Griswold said. “That is why I know this is what I need to do for my country.”