Williams heads to U.S. Naval Academy

Nicole Williams courtesy photo
Jadon Williams (right) and friend Alicia Sanchez pose following the Service Academy Prep School graduation May 8. 

Cinthia Stimson cinthia@glenrockind.com

Soon, Joel Williams, 9, is going to be missing his 18-year-old big brother Jadon Williams, especially when it comes to going camping, doing ranch chores together, or showing animals at the fair.

June 27 is the U.S. Naval Academy’s Induction Day – what Jadon calls “I-Day,” the day he will report as a midshipman and is officially processed into the historic institution in Annapolis, Maryland.
It’s also the day Joel will say goodbye to his big brother for awhile.
“I’m excited Jadon is going to the Naval Academy, but sad too. I know this is what he wants to do, so I’m happy about that. I want to be big, strong and responsible like Jadon,” Joel said.
In addition to his little brother Joel, Jadon will be leaving behind sisters, Adelaide, 15, and Caitilyn, 12.
The siblings grew up amid lush, green rolling hills several miles outside of Glenrock. The land has been in their family for five generations.
Jadon said he knows he’s been spoiled growing up in such amazing surroundings and he couldn’t have wished for anything better. He has wonderful memories of climbing trees, catching fish and crawdads, killing snakes and riding four-wheelers on their property.
A 2018 graduate of Glenrock High School, Jadon applied to the naval academy his senior year.
It was quite the process. One of the most tedious things he had to do was explain to the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board in specific detail just how he got every single scar on his body stemming from his early years working the ranch.
He was accepted into the academy last spring, but with one caveat – he was required to attend a year of prep school first at the Marion Military Academy in Marion, Ala. The Navy provided him with a scholarship to go.
In the middle of about 400 other students attending the school, Jadon said he’d wake up, go to physical training, skip breakfast, then attend chemistry, physics, English and math classes.
He received his official appointment to the academy April 19, following his graduation from the prep school.
He’s excited and ready to take on this new challenge, but he expects the first of his four years of training to be rough, as its plebe year (freshman year).
“It’s supposed to be that way. It’s boot camp on steroids,” he said.
The first seven weeks of his freshman year is known as “Plebe Summer.” The midshipmen aren’t allowed to call anyone during that time, but they can write letters home.
“I have a plan. If I make it through the first week, then I know I can make it through the second week. If I make it through the second, I know I can make it through the third,” he said, smiling but still looking a bit serious.
Aviation is Jadon’s dream and he’ll pursue it to the fullest during his naval career. He said he’ll fly whatever the Navy lets him, so long as it’s a fixed-wing aircraft.
“I would love to be a pilot. I have piles of aviation books jammed in my room.”
Jadon and his family head to Washington, D.C. three days before he reports to the academy. They’ll spend as much quality time together as they can and take in the sights, such as the Washington and Lincoln Memorials.
“I told mom that as long as we get to see the Air and Space Museum in D.C. with no time limitations, I’ll be happy,” he said.
Nicole and Jared Williams are Jadon’s parents. Nicole said she has mixed feelings about her son’s imminent departure into the academy.
Nicole is sad and scared, but she’s also ecstatic and proud. She knows her son has an amazing opportunity in front of him and she’s supportive of his decision.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t cry once in awhile, she admitted.
“I’m not looking forward to 65 days of no phone calls. We’ll write letters,” she said. “I’m not worried.”
The Williams family is tightly knit, proud of Jadon and the directions his decisions are leading him in.
“Jadon’s awesome, except when he is bossing everyone around,” Joel said. “(He’s) good at building rockets with me, teaching me about tools and equipment and taking me fishing. I’m going to miss him.”


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