PPHS grad embodies pride, responsibility of Navy ROTC
Military training at Purdue further shapes student’s future as naval officer
Midshipman Samuel Hardesty’s alarm starts beeping around 4:45 on Tuesday mornings. He and the other members of the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) learning community don their uniforms before walking to their naval lab, which starts at 5:50 a.m. — sharp.
“Walking around campus in my uniform gives me a sense of pride, but also a great sense of responsibility,” says Hardesty, a Purdue University freshman, who plans to major in mechanical engineering technology. “I know I’m representing something greater than myself, so I need to hold myself to a higher standard.”
Part of the first graduating class of Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, Hardesty credits its project-based learning curriculum for preparing him for the rigor of collegiate academics.
My entire life has always been directed at Purdue. Purdue was the only college I applied for because I wanted to go all-or-nothing with my top choice. I was that dedicated.Samuel Hardesty
Purdue University student, NROTC midshipman
“My entire life has always been directed at Purdue,” Hardesty says. “Purdue was the only college I applied for because I wanted to go all-or-nothing with my top choice. I was that dedicated.”
Once he arrived on campus, Hardesty chose to join NROTC to cultivate self-discipline, develop leadership skills and fulfill a desire to serve others by defending his country.
“Growing up, I was very fortunate,” Hardesty says. “It felt like the least I could do was join NROTC, to give back to a country that gave me so much. Military training at Purdue dates back to the very beginning of the University. I’m very proud to be part of a legacy of Boilermakers who have dedicated their lives to serving this country.”
Students who participate in NROTC can earn a minor in naval sciences by taking coursework in topics ranging from sea power and maritime affairs to naval leadership, management and ethics to evolution of warfare. NROTC aims to develop highly qualified officers for service in the Navy and Marine Corps through exemplary academics, leadership, physical readiness and community involvement.
Living as part of the learning community in Owen Residence Hall, Hardesty is surrounded by other NROTC students who share his interest in pursuing a career in the U.S. Naval Service.
“One of the great things about the learning community is the ability for us to build camaraderie,” Hardesty says. “We also hold each other accountable with our NROTC commitments and our coursework. My roommate and I are both in Charlie Company. Three mornings a week, we report to the Armory for physical training (PT) at 5:45 a.m. It’s very tough, but it’s very rewarding. Not only does consistent PT make us physically stronger, it makes us mentally tougher. NROTC makes my undergraduate experience more demanding, but it’s entirely worth it because, in the end, I’ll be commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.”
I’m very proud to be part of a legacy of Boilermakers who have dedicated their lives to serving this country.Samuel Hardesty Purdue University student, NROTC midshipman