By Annie Rigby
Ethan Lewis is set to graduate with the Loris High School Class of 2020 on Tuesday, June 2, and will have the summer to prepare to fulfill his dreams.
Lt. Col. Jim McLean, J.R.O.T.C. Senior Army Instructor, recognized the accomplishments of Cadet First Lieutenant Ethan A. Lewis. He said, “Loris High School Army J.R.O.T.C. is proud to announce that Cadet Lewis has been awarded the Military Officers Association of America Scholarship.” Cadet Lewis has been in the Army J.R.O.T.C. program throughout his high school career serving primarily in leadership positions. McLean said, “During his first three years he was also a member of the Loris High School Lions football team,” he continued, “and since the fifth grade he has played the violin in the school orchestra.” Lewis is well known and admired by his fellow cadets as exceptionally intelligent, hardworking yet an humble man. He is an avid reader with a profound interest in classical history. He stated, “Lewis worked over the summer and part-time during school at a local eatery and saved his earnings for college expenses.” The greatest news for the J.R.O.T.C. instructor and Cadet Lewis is that he has been accepted and this fall he will attend The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
“My choices were the Marines or the Navy;” said Lewis, “I am choosing to go into the Navy once I graduate The Citadel because water is second nature to me and I love the water.” His choice to attend The Citadel in Charleston is the reputation as one of the only two military colleges in South Carolina and the number one public college to prepare for the military; he also factored in the instate tuition costs.
In 2024 he will be a college graduate and will enter into the U.S. Navy boot camp for officers. He states his goal is set to serve a four to eight year contract with the Navy. He does not plan to make the military a career; he has other objectives to enter civilian life working in intelligence and national security; his ultimate dream is to have a career with the FBI or Homeland Security. “Yet, nothing is set in stone and decisions may come later that change.” Lewis said, “I want to put my degree to good use in civilian life.”
He credits McLean for his leadership, the influences and mentoring. He said, “He pushed me into the right path by understanding my drive and talent.” He continued, “It’s getting there with the knowledge and help that I needed, he’s a great teacher.” He stated that being a part of the JROTC is only as tough as you make it, if you stay on top of things and do what is required to do; it was a breeze for him.
Lewis will spend his summer months working part-time at Santino’s until he has to report to school. He says he wants to provide guitar lessons to anyone interested in learning to play the acoustic guitar. He has a strong desire and love of music, many different genres. He has a collection of vinyl records and books that he has collected. He feels he can use social media to teach the basic skills with Skype or Google meets. He says he was not professionally trained, but feels this is a good way for kids to learn to play the guitar.
Lewis’ brother Nick said, “From an early age Ethan has always known that his life would be deeply intertwined with the military service.” He said as his older brother it has been gratifying to watch his growth from a young boy to the man he has become. “For him to realize a dream it takes effort, determination and skill to stay focused and succeed;” he continued, “Ethan has all of these qualities as well as his dedication to righting wrongs and doing the right thing for better or worse.” Nick stated his brother makes him proud every day and wishes him all the success in his future.
Lewis’ advice for 9th graders is, “Follow your dreams, be realistic, but go for your dreams;” he said. “Even if you fail still try because you never know what opportunities will cross your path to lead you to your destination.”