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Navy cadets in training at the academy in Veracruz. Navy cadets in training at the academy in Veracruz.

Naval officer is a popular career choice for youth

Of 8,000 who apply to enroll in naval college, only about 300 are accepted

More and more young people in Mexico want to enroll in the navy’s military college in Veracruz, with as many as 8,000 applying every year. But there is room for only 300.

The website of the naval officer training academy Heróica Escuela Naval Militar in Antón Lizardo is visited by more than 15,000 potential applicants in the months prior to the start of the school year. Some 8,000 will be invited to take an entrance examination.

About 1,000 of those will move on to the next phase of the admission process, explained faculty head Rear Admiral José Carlos Tinoco Castrejón.

“We bring them to the naval school and in the second phase, for the duration of one week, we test their physical ability, go over their medical exams and give them psychological tests.”

The goal of the examinations and tests is to select those young women and men with strengths in leadership, integrity, responsibility, teamwork and perception.

Only between 250 and 300 applicants make it past this last stage and enter the junior class of cadets with a scholarship that covers 100% of their tuition costs.

They can choose from six different engineering career choices, of which naval systems, aviation and infantry are the most popular.

But many cadets are not able to withstand the rigors of naval life and leave their studies before they finish. This year, the senior class is composed of 149 cadets.

In their final year cadets take a year-long instructional voyage on the ARM Cuauhtémoc, the navy’s sail training vessel, after which they graduate as corvette lieutenants, a rank similar to that of a U.S. Navy ensign.

The academy began teaching navy cadets on June 1, 1897, when it was manned by one commandant, two officers and six teachers who were in charge of educating 26 aspiring naval officers.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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