Elma High School alumni Bryce K. Boyer graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 23.
He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Boyer successfully completed four years of intensive academic, physical, professional military and leadership training, resulting in a bachelor’s degree with a major in economics.
Each summer, Boyer was provided a variety of training opportunities aboard ships and a submarine, on helicopters and jets and with the Marines. He also studied geopolitical issues abroad with USNA professors and classmates in Poland, Belgium, France and Israel. Boyer also studied negotiation strategy at the London School of Economics during one summer leave period. Other highlights of his four years included, three trips to Wall Street, serving as chief investment officer of the USNA Investment Club, meeting former Vice President Dick Cheney and shaking hands with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at graduation. During his final semester, he served as 1st Platoon commander in charge of 30 midshipmen in the 19th Company. His company achieved the honors of Color Company by excelling in academics, athletics and professional accomplishments.
Boyer began his first tour as a junior officer on July 1, aboard the guided missile cruiser, the U.S.S. Cowpens in its home port of San Diego.
In 2010, Ensign Boyer graduated from Elma High School while concurrently obtaining an associate’s degree from South Puget Sound Community College. In high school, he was an Evergreen 1A Conference first-team, all-league defensive tackle. He is the son of Morris and Nina Boyer of Elma.
Due to his busy schedule — 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. duty, seven days a week until he earns some leave time — Boyer was not available for an interview, but did answer several questions sent to him via email by The Vidette staff.
Question: What was the most challenging aspect of attending the Naval Academy?
Answer: “The most challenging aspect of attending the Naval Academy was learning to manage the multiple demands of rigorous college classes while keeping up with physical and military officer training. Learning to effectively manage time constraints plus my personal determination to ‘make it’ helped me to complete the four years and earn a Naval Officer Commission.”
Q: How is life on board the ship and can you describe the ship a little bit?
A: “I am serving on board the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser assigned to the Pacific Fleet. I am the officer in charge of the 25 sailors who work on the propulsion machinery. My work on board requires long hours, but it has been a rewarding experience.”
Q: After growing up on the Harbor, how’s life in San Diego?
A: “After growing up on Grays Harbor, I really like the sunny days in San Diego and the beach. It is a great place to live as a young person. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much spare time to enjoy it yet, but hope to before my ship deploys.”
Q: What is your advice to any young man or woman who may want to pursue an education at the Naval Academy or any other military academy?
A: “My advice to young men or women interested in pursuing an education at the Naval Academy is to take all the college preparatory math and science classes you can. Also take Running Start classes while seizing leadership opportunities in a Varsity sport and extra-curricular activities.”
Q: Do you plan to make a career of the Navy?
A: “I currently have a five- to six-year service commitment in the Navy and will make my decision to stay in the Navy near the end of my service commitment. For now, I am on a fast track to learn all I can about my job.”