Cats of Service: Luke Shriver

Molly Bobik, Staff

Throughout the years, Latrobe has produced young men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting their country and their home. Luke Shriver, a 2016 Latrobe graduate, was no different when he chose the path leading him to join the military.

For some people, from a young age they know they will join the military. For others like Luke they do not hear the call to service until later in life. It was not until around Luke’s senior year of high school when he began to realize his interest in the military. “By the time I had him as a senior, he really seemed appreciative of American military history,” said Mr.Wetzel, Luke’s US History and Vietnam teacher. “He began to develop the curiosity to the point where he wanted to check out his options.”

Luke is currently a sophomore ROTC in college at Bloomsburg University in central Pennsylvania. He is preparing to depart for military training in Romania. Luke was one of the few who received the opportunity to travel abroad with the military out of 50,000 cadettes from over 1,000 different schools,  “It’s a rare opportunity for cadettes to go overseas,” said Luke. “They’re really cutting down.”

The decision on the cadettes who would travel abroad relied heavily on their grades, SAT scores, and participation in extracurricular activities. At one point in Luke’s life this may had been a huge barrier. According to Wetzel, as a young sophomore in his US History class, Luke tended to be the typical unorganized, sophomore. But Luke drastically changed his working habits, which greatly influenced his future. “By the time I had him as a senior,” said Mr.Wetzel, “he improved dramatically with being able to manage deadlines and times and he continues to improve.”

Along with receiving the chance to travel the world, Luke was also given the decision on where in the world he would go. He could have chosen anywhere from Japan, to Africa, or even somewhere as close to home as Canada. Luke finally chose Europe in order to expand his worldly culture.

Luke is to depart for his month long trip to Romania on June 26. While in Europe, Luke will receive further military training and work alongside the Romanian military. In addition to furthering his own skills, Luke will also work with the public to teach the Romanian people English conversational skills.

While it may seem like a no brainer to travel the world when given the opportunity, the decision was not always clear to Luke. As a person of curiosity, Luke jumped at the chance to explore the world outside of his own country, but he also had other ideas in mind such as attending air assault training. Luke said, “It’s really tough. Really challenging. But if you complete it, that looks really good for a cadette to do because it is a lot harder to get into especially if you’re not enlisted.” Although both would be beneficial to Luke he decided to pursue the trip to Romania. “I decided going out and doing abroad is a lot more beneficial for me after college than to go to air assault school because I can do that anytime,” said Luke.

Aside from traveling abroad, at home Luke is focusing on his academics with a major in digital and forensics, along with a Russian major. Luke is working towards attaining a career in signal and military communication including cybersecurity, but says he would be equally happy as an artillery or infantry officer. As to what country he could carry out these careers, the options are endless, but Luke doesn’t keep himself tied down to one place.“I keep it a toss up,” said Luke, “because I feel like I shouldn’t keep my mind set on one thing and be disappointed.”

Luke has grown a great deal from the young sophomore boy sitting in Wetzel’s US History class to the mature cadette he is today. No matter where in the world life takes Luke, it is clear he will take it in stride and learn from each and every experience.