Sights set on the Navy Nuke program

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cassville High School senior and Scott Regional Technical Center JROTC member Anna Buckley has big goals for the future. Buckley has her sights set on becoming one of the only female students from the four-state area to enter the United States Navy's Nuke or Nuclear Power School in Charleston, S.C.

Buckley, who has participated in JROTC since she was a seventh grade student, relocated to Barry County from Florida two years ago. She has continued her military preparation education at the vocational center in Monett.

"I was interested in JROTC because it offered a chance for me to be part of a team where we all had the same goal," said Buckley. "I was involved in community service and fundraising events."

Buckley began to study the opportunities offered in the Nuke program after she was introduced to the program by a neighbor in Florida.

"I like the program because it takes a certain breed of person to handle the strenuous hours of study, the challenge of the subject at such a young age and the dedication to keep pushing through at the hardest of times," said Buckley. "This program provides an opportunity for me to excel in a male dominated career field."

Currently, Buckley is completing physics, chemistry and thermodynamics classes in preparation for her future career. She also attends Delayed Entry Program (DEP) meetings in Joplin on the second Wednesday each month and takes part in the CAP (Civil Air Patrol) cadet program.

"I have learned a lot of leadership and teamwork skills," said Buckley. "I have also learned to always be prepared and expect the worse."

After graduating from Cassville High School this year, Buckley plans to begin her career with the U.S. Navy. She has plans to serve in the military for at least 20 years, and eventually attend an officer training in order to be deployed on a submarine.

"As of right now, I leave for boot camp in October," said Buckley. "Boot camp is in the Great Lakes area."

After completing boot camp, Buckley will enroll in the school in Charleston, S.C.

"I would like to go work for a nuclear power plant," Buckley said about her more long-term plans. "This would benefit me because I would already have clearances and the knowledge of the operation will benefit me in the corporate ladder. It would also benefit the company in not having to spend a lot of money for me to get classified."

According to Buckley, in the Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri area, only one out of every 12 seats that the Navy has in the Nuke program is offered to a female student.

Buckley is the daughter of Lisa Buckley, of Cassville, and the late Mead Buckley.

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