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Naval Academy grad grateful for Navy

August 12, 2011|BY MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • Jeremy Harbaugh, 22, of Smithsburg graduated this spring from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Before he joined, he thought the Navy "would be a great fit for me."
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Decades from now when Jeremy Harbaugh reflects on his life journey, he will probably remember one day in particular that set him on the right path.

It was the day he decided to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Harbaugh was a sophomore at Smithsburg High School when he developed an interest in becoming a midshipman, he said.

His parents, Steve and Carmen Harbaugh, had visited the military college as chaperones on a field trip with his younger brother and sister.

"They returned home excited and told me I needed to take a trip to Annapolis," he said.

Harbaugh said he made several visits to the Naval Academy and attended a summer seminar, which introduced prospective students to academy life.

"I also did a three-day visit where I followed a plebe around," he said.

It wasn't long before he knew he had met his future.

Harbaugh had the right resume.

Academically, he was in the top 5 percent of his class. He wrestled and played football and lacrosse. And he was willing to follow a disciplined lifestyle.

"I thought it would be a great fit for me," Harbaugh said.

But the decision was in the hands of the academy — who felt the same way.

He was accepted into the Class of 2011 and, following high school graduation in 2007, headed to Annapolis.

This past May, during the pageantry of a Naval Academy graduation, the 22-year-old received his diploma and now is attending graduate school at Carnegie-Mellon Tepper School of Business in pursuit of an Master of Business Administration in finance.

This will allow him to pursue a career as a financial management specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps, he said. He currently has an eight-year obligation with the Marines.

He's not sure what the future will hold after his military service, but he's sure it will be a fulfilling one, thanks to the Naval Academy.

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