April 12, 2021
Service to Country: A Lifetime Oath
After watching Saving Private Ryan as a young boy, Sam Rapp ’21 knew he wanted to be a soldier. So, after an early graduation from KO on May 21, Rapp will head to Fort Benning in Georgia for 20 weeks of basic training in the army infantry.
Like for many of us, the quarantine gave us time to pause and reflect on how we want to live our lives. For Rapp, the experience catapulted him to action to call an army recruiter. He was originally planning to enlist in the reserves and go to college, but after careful review, he decided to pursue a different route. “I wanted to be a grunt. I wanted to go into special forces. That was my plan from the beginning. There’s a man in my gym who is an ex-Navy Seal who told me. ‘Go. Don’t wait.” and I was like ‘Let’s go!” Rapp said. “If I can get to be my dream as a kid, I said sign me up.”
Rapp has been preparing himself for the PT test before he heads to selections as an Army Ranger, a member of the elite special operation team. He feels his strength training is where it should be, but he’s trying to shave time off his run. The requirement is to complete a five-mile run in 40 minutes. “The strength side I am pretty good at. The running, I am almost there. The endurance. Most of the training is on how to adapt and learn. It’s very faced past – train harder, fight faster, more accurate than any other soldier,” he said.
Rapp’s only fear is not passing the rigorous selection to be an army ranger, but his incredible discipline will serve him well. He credits KO for helping with his time management skills which gave him structure for his intense days. On the days when he is working at the gym, Rapp will wake at 3:30 a.m., head to the gym, work out until 6:00 a.m., take a shower and head to school. After school, he goes to work.
Rapp understands that his choice to enlist in the army is an unconventional one after many people advised him to matriculate into college. However, the honor and service to his country proved a stronger, more compelling draw. “I love my country. I was raised to be proud of where I am from. I think giving back and doing something that I love is important. The higher calling of being something bigger than yourself is more important than money. I used to want to make a lot of money so I thought I had to go to college. But, that’s just a materialistic reason and when the money runs out, you’re still going to be unhappy. I believe that this is going to give me a pretty content life. I’m going to make it a career. I’ll go to college when I am in, and I’ll eventually become an officer. I’m in it for the long run.”