Five questions with Joseph A. Affronti III, King High senior
This week we chat with Joseph A. Affronti III, a senior at King High who was recently selected to the attend the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in West Point, NY, starting in July. The preparatory program is designed to prepare cadet candidates such as Affronti for the academic, physical, and military challenges of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The 18-year-old Temple Terrace resident is a King student leader, scholar and wrestler who aims to make the military a career. The prep school is a training program for high school graduates and enlisted personnel from the active, reserve and National Guard force.
Tell us about your invitation to attend the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, and does it mean automatic acceptance to the U.S. Military Academy next year?
Each year about 15,000 qualified applicants apply to the academy, but approximately 1,200 are chosen to attend the academy and about 200 more are appointed to the prep school. Between 80 percent and 90 percent (of prep school graduates go on) to the academy.
Why is military service such an integral part of your life, and what are your goals?
At an early age, I always felt the desire to serve my country. My goals are to become an Army Ranger and pass the rank of my grandfather, Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert C. Beyer Jr. (Beyer was a 1956 West Point graduate.) What hobbies do you enjoy? Wrestling, camping, going to the beach, hanging with my friends and family, and community service. As the grandson of former Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti Sr., do you foresee politics in your future? At this moment, not right now. But who knows what the future holds. (Affronti Sr. is an Army veteran) Do you know why the right hand is used for the military salute? I am not entirely sure, but I think the right hand is used because it is the most important hand and it shows a sign of respect. (Good answer. The origin of the salute remains uncertain. Some historians think it began in Roman time; others believe the gesture was influenced by the British. In either case, the right hand was used as a show of respect.)
- Kenneth Knight