Wisconsin teen ready to soar to new heights in Army
July 8, 2013
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kevin Felix has spent many a day with his head in the clouds. At 18, he has spent more than six years sitting in the passenger seat of an airplane as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, watching others fly. With the dream of becoming a pilot, Felix is getting out of the passenger seat to take control of his future by enlisting in the Army's Warrant Officer Flight Training program.
The WOFT program allows high school graduates like Felix to go on to flight school in the Army. Once he completes basic combat training (BCT) he will begin training to complete his dream of becoming a pilot.
"I was looking at joining the Army as an enlisted Soldier until someone I'm in the CAP with told me about the WOFT program and I decided to take the chance to qualify to become a pilot," said Felix.
The chance he took was competing against applicants from across the country. Each applicant must meet stringent requirements to qualify to enter the WOFT program. The smallest thing can set you apart from the others and get you accepted in to the program or stop your dreams in their tracks.
The desire Felix has to become a pilot was obvious to those around him.
"Kevin has had this goal since I met him three years ago," said Maj. Todd Mandel, the deputy commander for cadets for the La Crosse, Wis., Squadron of the CAP. "This was his plan, to become a warrant officer and fly helicopters. He has been zeroed in on going thru the WOFT program since day one."
Felix has kept his sights fixed on the WOFT program and won't let anything get in the way of his goal.
"His biggest obstacle was his [physical training]. His first try he didn't come anywhere near to what he needed to qualify for the WOFT program," said Staff Sgt. James Neff, Onalaska Army Recruiting Center commander. "He took it very hard, but he got where he needed to be in order to be accepted in to the program."
"He's one of those kids you have to respect," continued Neff. "If you throw an obstacle in front of him he's going to find any way to get past it. He's going to stick with what he wants to do."
In the end the only obstacle Felix had was whether or not to follow his dreams.
"It is definitely worth just taking the chance at going WOFT and to follow your dreams," said Felix, who is scheduled to start BCT in September.