Donovan’s dream St. Dom’s senior nominated to 4 military academies


AUBURN – High school senior Steven Donovan’s dream of becoming an officer in the military is looking good these days.

He has received nominations to four U.S. military academies: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Merchant Marines – all but the Coast Guard.

The nominations came from U.S. Rep. Michaud Michaud, D-Maine. Two also came U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Students who receive military academy nominations must be outstanding students with high grades and SAT scores, must be active in school or civic activities, and must come with personal recommendations, said Michaud’s spokeswoman Monica Castellanos.

Most students don’t get four congressional nominations, according to press releases from Maine’s congressional offices.

“I was a little surprised to get so many nominations,” said Donovan, who will graduate from St. Dominic Regional High School May. “I know a lot of kids who worked hard and try and get these. Since I’ve gotten these I’m going to apply and use that opportunity.”

Donovan, the son of Richard and Jeanne Donovan, has followed up and applied to the four academies. He’s also applied to the Army’s ROTC program and to non-military colleges and universities.

If one or more of the academies accept him, this spring Donovan will have to decide whether to go to an academy or a non-military college.

Either way, four years from now he sees himself in uniform. He just doesn’t know which color.

“My preference is the Army,” Donovan said, but he added that each branch has strengths.

“For me, they all are equal members of the military team. Each one has a role,” he said. “Would I mind being in the Navy? No. I love the U.S. Navy. I love the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army or the Marine Corps. They’re all really good organizations. I would be honored to be a member of any of them.”

His interest in the military started young. “It was a boyish thing, the military technology,” he said. All those machines, tanks and guns.

Around the sixth grade his interest matured. He began reading serious books about military history and leadership instead of watching television shows or playing video games.

Donovan considers himself patriotic, but he isn’t loud about it. “I really am proud of my country. I’m not going to run around with an American hat or Uncle Sam costume.”

One thing that attracts him to the military is the camaraderie, Donovan said. “The military is a place where trust is really strong between members. It’s almost a brotherhood.”

Another is action.

“I understand that war is a horrible thing,” he said, and the fact that soldiers are dying in Iraq has not escaped him.

“Regrettably, there is a war. But just because there’s a war going on now it wouldn’t stop me from going into the military, because that’s been my dream for a while.”