Humans of RV: Steven Wiser

The month of May is known as military appreciation month. The armed forces play an essential role in society as they protect a lot of freedoms that Americans enjoy. With over 500 students graduating in the class of 2022, there are only a handful of students that decided to join the military–senior, Steven Wiser, is one of them. 

Steven Wiser shaking hands with Commander Sean Easley at the Armed Services Recognition Program

Dr. Maniglia

Steven Wiser shaking hands with Commander Sean Easley at the Armed Services Recognition Program

Andre Dominic Faigal, Student Life Writer

The Humans of RV project is a weekly column based on Brandon Stanton’s seminal “Humans of New York” project, which seeks to “catalog the city’s inhabitants” through photography and brief interviews. RV seeks to expand on this project with our own “cataloging” of RV students and an examination into all the unique perspectives here at school. 

Note: this transcript has been edited and condensed for publication purposes.

I was influenced by my father, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and ROTC. My father, who has been in the Army for 33 years, had a significant influence. That influence was certainly subconscious though because as a child, I wanted nothing to do with the military, probably because I was on base so much already. But my mother also helped because she knew that I was interested in pursuing a career in flight. Thus, my mother persuaded to join the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an Auxiliary of the Air Force. One of CAP’s purposes is to develop the youth’s knowledge and understanding of aviation and aerospace, but also to introduce military traditions. I took advantage of that at a young age and when I reached high school, I joined ROTC, because I figured it was going to be an easy class to transition into, coming from 3 years in CAP.

So around that time, I needed to start making some future decisions, like what colleges best suited me; I needed to consider financially beneficial paths. I have two brothers and that puts financial strain on any family. By the time I reached junior year, I was just starting to learn about and genuinely understand the weight of the benefits the military has to offer. Thus after stressful months of the college application process, it resulted in my final decision of attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with an Air Force Reserve Officer Trainer Course scholarship. There, I will principally live as if I was in the military while getting my college degree, and by the time I graduate, I will be an officer in the military. Additionally, ERAU is a school well known for its flight schools and for its engineering programs, and that is what sparked my interest. I am currently pursuing an Aerospace Engineering degree and my more-specific discipline will be decided later, but is likely to focus on jet propulsion or rocket propulsion. After college as an Air Force officer, I will head into the Air Force as some form of developmental engineer. In that career, I will likely work on designing new aircraft or spacecraft. But the overall goal is to try my best to use my degree, but that is not always the case. After my commitment to the armed forces, I am confident that there will be so many opportunities. I’m sure remaining in the service will be an enticing career or maybe serve in the reserves. Something that I’ve always had my eyes set on was SpaceX. I may decide to pursue a civilian contracting company like Boeing or SpaceX. Serving in the military is a huge sacrifice and with that comes many benefits, like financial security, job security, and travel opportunities. It simply sounded like the perfect ‘starter kit’ for a successful future.

I am extraordinarily thankful to RV and its staff for helping me get this far. I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful teachers and supportive friends. I wish for people to understand the benefits that the military provides to anyone trying to pursue an education. There is a stigma that those who join the military are heading off to be shot at, or put in the line of fire. But, this is not true, not every career puts lives at risk. Yes, there is a passion for some and there should be some motivation to serve others above yourself. But, if for nothing else, the financial incentives for joining are unimaginable. I encourage everyone to simply see what it has to offer for them.