Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Senior Profile: Mark Mackenzie

April 23, 2017

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Senior Profile: Mark Mackenzie

I want to become a leader for others. I always felt that I enjoy and can help best by leading others, which is the intent of being a commissioning officer in the military, you lead others below you.”

— Mark Mackenzie

With big dreams and the drive to achieve them, he applied to the Air Force academy it was no surprise to his friends and family when he made it in. According to his peers, Mark Mackenzie consists of leadership, a good work ethic, and a bit of competitivity.

Mark will be going to the Air Force Academy for basic cadet training June 29; for the next four years he will be working toward becoming an officer. During his time at KHS he has gone to state twice in wrestling, gotten into NHS and achieved Eagle Scout status.

“It was mostly my brother [who made me want to go to the Air Force Academy],” Mark said. “ He is a sophomore at the Air Force Academy now, so he showed me what [to expect]. My sister [also made me want to go], she applied to the Naval Academy [though] she did not get accepted, she showed me that  going into the military is an option more so than enlisting.”

The Air Force Academy offers both education and military training. It is one of three military academies in America aside from West Point Military Academy, and The United States Naval Academy. After one graduates from the Academy they assume rank of second lieutenant; they have to serve for five or more years depending on what job they do. For freshman year, they are required to attend basic cadet training.

“[The biggest trial waiting for Mark] is basic training,” Brian Mackenzie, Mark’s older brother, said. “It’s not like you are just awake and working for [so many] hours per day, it’s you have to be ready to go and ready to do. The biggest challenge in that respect is realizing that you lose a lot of control over your daily routine.”

Mark hopes to study aeronautical engineering during his time at the Academy, though this may change depending on where the future takes him. Having taken an engineering class every single year during his time at KHS, he does know that he wants to work with some type of engineering. Aeronautical engineering is simply the study of how airplanes work, the subject widely ranges with different planes and areas of study.

“The idea of planes in general is fascinating; the concept of a heavy air machine being able to fly; it seems to defy physics more or less,” Mark said. “I just think the planes themselves are fascinating.”

Mark is a hard worker and a natural leader, according to Rob Monroe, First Presbyterian Church youth group leader. During his time at church Mark was always the person with the ability to get things done, a quality that came in use during workcamps and other church events, Rob said.

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