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While growing up in a rural area of southern New Jersey, Will Flournoy ’16 had a pretty good idea that he would be an officer and a pilot in one of the branches of the U.S. military. After all, many of the men in Flournoy’s family were military officers. And both his father and grandfather flew jets in the Navy. “My father was an F-14 RIO and I grew up fascinated by planes and flying,” Flournoy says. 

Now, he’s about to follow in their footsteps. Flournoy, who’s attended Georgia Tech on an ROTC scholarship, will be an Ensign (0-1) in the Navy after his December graduation. He will already be an officer due to his experience in ROTC.

“I knew it was always an option I had,” Flournoy says of a military career. “I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life in high school besides I knew I wanted to major in engineering. I applied for the ROTC scholarship my senior year of high school. I ended up getting the ROTC scholarship to Georgia Tech, Duke, and Boston University. I ultimately chose Georgia Tech based on their engineering reputation and I am very glad that I did.”

Flournoy credits his time in ROTC with preparing him well for the military.

“My time in NROTC closely aligns with the purpose of NROTC,” he says. “To develop future officers mentally, morally, and physically, and to instill in them the highest ideals of duty, loyalty, and the core values of honor, courage, and commitment in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval Service, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.”

Although he’s been preparing for this moment since he stepped foot on the Georgia Tech campus, Flournoy admits that he doesn’t have concrete plans for his military career. He wants to serve his time and then see where things go from there.

“I have six-year service commitment after I receive my wings, so it will work out to be about eight years. During that time, I intend on earning a masters degree in a technical field. At this point, I am just trying to keep as many doors open as possible, whether I end up serving 10 years or 30.”

But no matter how many years he ends up serving, Flournoy is grateful for his time as part of Kappa Sigma.

“I believe the fraternity has given me a more balanced perspective on life,” he says. “I will be leaving college much better prepared to balance the challenges of a career as a naval officer with a social life and friends, than someone who was not in a fraternity or someone who attended a service academy.”

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