By Kyrene Resel (GUIDON volunteer)July 31, 2014
Born to Army Sgt. 1st Class Shane Wolfe and Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Michell Mashburn, Kimberly Wolfe has embraced the military lifestyle since before she could walk.
Now as a 2014 graduate of Waynesville High School, Wolfe will be following in her parent's footsteps, but will leave her own unique mark on her Family's history.
Wolfe is the first female in her Family hoping to become an officer, and the first to attend the United States Military Academy.
"I always knew I wanted to be a Soldier, but at first, I wanted to enlist like my dad, because I grew up seeing all the cool stuff he got to do. I really didn't know about the "officer side" of the military, until my dad became an instructor for BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course). He brought me in to meet a couple of lieutenants, and that's when I knew that commissioning was the way I wanted to go," Wolfe said.
"There was something different about the West Point lieutenants: they just had this vibe about them. I knew right then that I wanted people to be able to just look at me and know that I was different," she added
After researching West Point, Wolfe realized she had to be on top of her game.
"They (West Point) take everything into account from your freshman year on and go by the acronym SAL, which stands for 'student, athlete, leader.' That's what they want, a well-rounded individual who is an exceptional student, as well as an athlete who has a hard work ethic and is involved in extracurricular activities," Wolfe said.
Close friend, Cody Solomon, said Wolfe has always been successful.
"I've known Kim for close to four years now and, above all else, her character is probably what most qualifies her. She displays a large amount of dedication in what she does, and she'll do great because she won't settle for anything less," Solomon said.
Wolfe said the most challenging aspect will probably be mental.
"We have so much to memorize, like our plebe knowledge, which is a book of information ranging from the Star-Spangled Banner, Army cheers, famous quotes, to random questions," Wolfe said.
Wolfe credits her dad with helping her become the person she is today.
"My dad has always wanted the very best for me, and has instilled an immense sense of patriotism and pride in me from an early age. My dad has really been my biggest mentor, even though it sometimes caused tension between us, he has helped me so much from the beginning. He's the reason I wanted to join the military in the first place. I've always been so proud of him, and now I want to make him proud, too," she said.
Wolfe's father is happy with her success.
"I was incredibly proud that out of over 16,000 applicants, she was one of the 1,200 admitted. She's always been very supportive of my career and very inquisitive about how our Army works," Shane Wolfe said.
"She is a patriot; attending West Point and serving in our Army as a commissioned officer is a perfect fit for her," he said.
Wolfe wants more women to step up to the plate.
"To the girls pursuing any type of military service, or any career path that is male-dominan -- you can. That's it. You're an American, just like your male counterparts, if they can, then you can. And don't let them tell you otherwise. Just show them. I'm not labeled a 'female cadet' at West Point, I'm just a 'cadet' and that's how it should be --equal," Kim Wolfe said.
Upon graduation, Wolfe hopes to branch into aviation and fly Appache helicopters.
Waynesville had several students accepted into service academies. Those students include: AC Shanahan and Mason Reed who also be attending West Point, Kate Mason will be going to the Merchant Marine Academy, and Devonte Baity just finished his freshman year at West Point.